The Book of Deacon is Joseph R. Lallo’s debut fantasy novel. I hadn’t read anything from him before, and I grabbed this novel because it was discounted (I believe it’s currently free).
The Book of Deacon follows Myranda Celeste—a young woman driven into a life of isolation due to a society intolerant of her objections to a long-running war between the northern and southern regions of her world. This High Fantasy novel delivers on many of the expectations of the genre. The protagonist, Myranda, is sympathetic and her backstory immediately makes you invested in her endeavor to survive a world that has rejected her. What’s even more enjoyable than the protagonist herself are the characters she encounters on her journey. Most of these characters don’t appear until the second half of the novel, and I wish Lallo paced the book in such a way that I got to experience them earlier.
The primary driver of the story was the aspect of wonder. The magic system of the story was developed to a satisfactory extent as Myranda learns about her talents. This is the primary success of the story. Additionally, the author gave me something I’m a sucker for: Myn, Myranda's faithful companion. Myranda and Myn’s relationship was enjoyable.
Lallo’s introduction to this series gave just enough to tempt me to read Book 2. Because this story feels like the first act of a much larger story, I almost wish the trilogy was one novel instead of being cut into a trilogy. But I can’t complain as much; I got the first act for free. Had I paid full price for it, I would have felt cheated out of a full experience.
If you’re looking for a Fantasy novel with a determined and principled female lead, this one could be for you. However, I’d recommend grabbing the box set (if one is available on your preferred retailer) with the full trilogy if you want to get a complete experience.