ARC Review – The Thirteenth Tower by Sara Snider


eARC received from Net Galley in exchange for fair review


Abandoned as a baby, young Emelyn’s life as a housemaid in the quiet village of Fallow is unremarkable—and empty. That is, until a host of magical creatures arrives and inflicts terrible misdeeds on the townsfolk. Inexplicably immune to their enchantments, Emelyn joins a pair of Magi intent on stopping the cause of the trouble—and who claim to know of her parents, promising Emelyn answers to a lifetime of questions.

But the answers Emelyn seeks prove to be more elusive than she hoped, and the world outside Fallow more perilous than she imagined. Magical creatures roam the land over, attacking yet another town before coming after Emelyn. The key to her survival—and finding her family—lies deep within her, if only she can conquer her doubts and believe she is more powerful than she ever dreamed.

In a journey that explores facing one’s fears amidst the uncertainties of an unknown world, The Thirteenth Tower is a magical tale of discovery, growth, and of love’s enduring strength.


Two books of equal length. Two tales that didn’t break the traditional stories of their genres. But where The Nightingale Bones failed to grab me, I liked Emelyn enough that it made this book a quick and breezy read. Snider does not reinvent the wheel here – you can guess the big twist fairly readily – but she crafts her tale finely enough that it isn’t until you’re almost done that you realize little has actually happened in this book. And yet, I think the book was the perfect length. Longer and it would have felt stuffed, shorter and you would have lost the little moments that perhaps were not necessary, but helped to flesh out the world and give it some manner of newness. There was also a nice sense of tragedy to this book that wound up with the wronged character developing a vibe and an ability that wouldn’t have been out of place in a Japanese horror flick.

If it sounds like I’m struggling to find something to say, it’s because I am. It’s a solid little work that kept me entertained enough that I read the entire thing in a day. It may not be particularly memorable (down to the rather cheap looking cover if we’re honest), but it’s a real solid indie title, and at $3.03 right now on Amazon, it’s worth a look.

Verdict: Borrow It


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