Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: David B. Coe
Lici's village has fallen ill with the plague, and she has to walk through the night to find a neighboring Qirsi village to heal them. The first village she finds is indeed Qirsi, but their religion doesn't allow them to use their magic to help her family. When Lici returns, everyone in the village has died. She is taken into a nearby Mettai village, where live humans who can use blood magic as her family had. Here she learns that the people who had refused to help her were Y'Qatt. She spends her whole life planning her revenge on the Y'Qatt and when she is an old woman, she sets out selling cursed baskets that kill whole villages with the plague. With each village she passes through, she inadvertently leaves clues that lead Besh, a boy who grew up with her in the Mettai village, to stop her.
The characters in The Sorcerers' Plague are relatable, multidimensional, and dynamic. Almost all of their interactions with each other and the choices they make feel organic and supported by their history and personality. Even Lici is humanized to a great extent. The reader really comes to understand her actions and sympathize with her story. Despite her horrific actions, she maintains her sense of humanity and even struggles with her actions at times. The Blood of the Southlands follows David B. Coe's series Winds of the Forelands, but all pertinent information for the book is included. It really feels like a standalone series. The only crossover between the two series are the magic system Coe uses and two characters that traveled from the Forelands to the Southlands. Their history seems irrelevant for this book. Overall, this book is enjoyable and well-written, but lacks the drama of a real page turner.
*Contains mild sexual content, mild violence, and mild language.