Blog Tour: The Collarbound – Rebecca Zahabi

Blog Tour: The Collarbound – Rebecca Zahabi


Release Date:
May 12th 2022
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

On the other side of the Shadowpass, rebellion is brewing and refugees have begun to trickle into the city at the edge of the world. Looming high on the cliff is The Nest, a fortress full of mages who offer protection, but also embody everything the rebellion is fighting against: a strict hierarchy based on magic abilities, and the oppression of the Kher community.

When Isha arrives as a refugee, she attempts to fit in amongst the other mages, but her Kher tattoo brands her as an outcast. She can’t remember her past or why she has the tattoo. All she knows is that she survived. She doesn’t intend to give up now.

Tatters, who wears the golden collar of a slave, knows that this rebellion is different from past skirmishes. He was once one of the rebels, fought beside them, and technically, they still own him. He plans to stay in the shadows, until Isha appears in his tavern. He’s never seen a human with a tattoo, and the markings look eerily familiar. Despite his fear of being discovered, Tatters decides to help her.

As the rebellion carves a path of destruction towards the city, The Collarbound follows an unlikely friendship between a man trying to escape his past and a woman trying to uncover hers, until their secrets threaten to tear them apart.

Review

The Collarbound is a fiercely gripping fantasy tale that’s full to the brim with magic and mystery. Set in a world that has been torn apart by rebellion, we follow Isha as she arrives at The Nest as a refugee. Isha does what she can to fit in, but she has no idea what happened in her past or where her tattoo came from. Meanwhile, Tatters wears the slave collar and knows the danger of rebellion. Whilst he’s determined to stay away from things, he can’t help but be drawn to Isha and the mystery that surrounds her. Together the two form an unlikely alliance as they seek to survive the rebellion and the secrets of their past.

The Collarbound is the kind of book that draws you in right from the very beginning. This is quite a slow burn story, one that slowly builds tension as the we learn more and more. I found I was thinking about the book even when I wasn’t reading it and it kept me intrigued and wanting more. I often felt on the edge of my seat, dying to know what was going on. Zahabi does a brilliant job of keeping the reader guessing, making for a really engaging read.

Zahabi has created a really fascinating world in The Collarbound and it felt like such a compelling setting. The worldbuilding felt well crafted and I loved learning about the mages and the khers. I sort of feel like I’ve only scratched the surface and can’t wait to see more of the world in the sequel. Similarly Zahabi has a knack for creating really interesting, dynamic characters. Both Tatters and Isha were really compelling characters and I felt like the romance was well executed.

The Collarbound is a brilliant, engaging story, unlike anything I’ve read before. If you’re looking for a slow burn fantasy story that will have you reading long into the night, this should definitely be on your to read list.

Blog Tour: The Game Weavers – Rebecca Zahabi

Blog Tour: The Game Weavers – Rebecca Zahabi


Release Date:
October 25th 2020
Publisher: ZunTold Publishing
Pages: 336
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Seo is Twine’s youth champion.

We are in a darker Britain and the national sport is not football but Twine, a game where weavers craft creatures from their fingertips to wage battle against others in vast arenas, watched by thousands.

But we are living in intolerant times and Seo harbours a secret. When he is outed as gay by the media, Seo cannot use his magic to save him.

With the help of his brother Minjun and Jack, the man he can’t quite decide if he loves or not, Seo has to fight to get his life back on track whilst facing the biggest match of his career.

A fantastical yet hauntingly contemporary debut novel from Rebecca Zahabi.

Review

The Game Weavers is the absolutely fascinating debut novel from Rebecca Zahabi. The story follows Seo, a young man who is a champion at Britain’s national sport Twine – a game in which the player must create creatures that battle each other in huge arenas. Despite the futuristic game society has become even more intolerant and when the media outs Seo as gay, he has to fight to get his life back on track as well as continue to compete in the legendary game.

Zahabi has created a really fresh and unique premise, and I found this story to be incredibly gripping. I absolutely loved the idea of Twine, a fighting game similar to the idea of Pokemon in which creatures must battle each other. The story was well paced and I enjoyed learning about the game and the world that Zahabi has brought to life. I really enjoyed her writing style and it was so easy to sink into this brilliant debut novel.

The Game Weavers features a diverse cast of characters and I really liked Seo as a main protagonist. I was really rooting for him and it was interesting seeing him attempt to get his life back to normal, figure out his feeling for Jack as well as play in the game. All the characters were well created and I also really liked the sibling relationship between Seo and Minjun.

The story focuses on homophobia and as such there are some trigger warnings for this. I thought the subject was well handled and the idea of being true to yourself really shined through in the story. The Game Weavers is a well crafted novel with a unique and engaging premise. This is a very impressive debut and I’m excited to see what Rebecca Zahabi writes next.