Title: Beggar’s Rebellion
Author: Levi Jacobs
Published: February 2019
Amount Read: 100%
Rating: 7 out of 10
Blurb: The Councilate controls everything except the truth. I have nothing save my discovery—but with this shall I destroy an empire.
Tai Kulga lost the rebellion and his best friend on the same day, stripping him of his will to live even as a strange power flooded his bones. When the friend returns as a spirit guide, it feels like a second chance—but his friend is not who he was, and the Councilate is not done oppressing his people. When trouble with lawkeepers lands Tai’s surviving friends in a prison camp, he must go underground to find the last of the rebels and convince them to break his friends free.
Along the way he meets Ellumia Aygla, runaway Councilate daughter posing as an accountant to escape her family and the avarice of the capital. Curious about the link between spirit guides and magic, her insights earn her a place among the rebels, and along with Tai’s power help turn the tide against the colonialists.
But as the rebels begin to repeat the Councilate’s mistakes, Tai and Ellumia must confront their own pasts and prejudices, before the brewing war turns them into the monsters they fight.
Thanks for stopping by to check out another review of one of the finalists for SPFBO 5! This is my fourth book read out of ten, so I still got a ways to go yet, but I think I’m finally finding my momentum! And I really liked the list style I tried last time, so I think we’re going to stick with that!
Overall, I enjoyed Beggar’s Rebellion. I thought the beginning was much stronger than the ending and one story arc was much more interesting to me than the other, but the writing was clean and the book was an enjoyable read. I haven’t decided if I’m going to check out the sequel yes, but I’m leaning on yes, maybe?
I thought the beginning was just so well written. I loved the sea setting, Ella captivated me immediately and the introduction to the magic was organic and refreshing. I easily read the first 50+ pages in one sitting and got really excited about this story!
The voices and the resonances was such an interesting magic system, especially as we got to watch it get complicated by the characters who experienced them. I’ll admit, I’m still not 100% clear on how they are meant to work, but I thought this magic was really unique and it intrigued me.
Ella’s Story Arc
I really, really loved Ella. I was always looking forward to her chapters, really sympathized with her plight and just enjoyed reading about her life and seeing her spark and fight, refusing to give up, no matter what was happening.
Tai’s Story Arc
I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong with Tai as a character, but I just wasn’t invested in his story arc–not near to the level as I was with Ella’s. So, any time we were in his chapters or focusing on the rebellion, I was wishing we were focusing on Ella, instead. So, this is more personal preference than anything else, because I’m sure others will love Tai!
There are a few times where a scene that we saw through Tai’s perspective was then retold through Ella’s perspective and that was a weakness to me. Seeing the same scene again felt redundant, as it never seemed to offer too much new in hearing it from a different perspective.
It might have been because the main element that I was interested in, in regards to Ella, had already been resolved, or because I didn’t really care about Tai’s portion or because the romance felt too rushed at the end, but I just wasn’t as captivated by the end as I had been by the beginning, which was disappointing.In sum, I thought Beggar’s Rebellion was an enjoyable read, despite the weaker ending, and would be a good one for fans of Rowenna Miller’s The Unraveled Kingdom. It gets a 3 out of 5 gems rating from me, with a 7 out of 10 in the SPFBO contest.