The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn / Tyler Whitesides

Title / The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn
Author / Tyler Whitesides
Series / Kingdom of Grit – book 1
First Published / 2018
Page no. / 784
Overall Rating / 

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The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn is the first book in the Kingdom of Grit series and is the author’s debut novel. This book had been on my radar for quite a while so I’m happy that I’ve finally picked it up.
I thought this was a great introduction to this series. This book introduces us to Ardor Benn, a ruse artist who gets hired by a priest to steal from the King. I found it really easy to settle into the flow of the writing and became invested in the characters and story from quite early on. It follows three character perspectives; the ruse artist Ardor Benn, the thief Quarrah Khai and the priest Isle Halavend. Each perspective has a distinct voice and I think the author did a good job at splitting the chapters between them. Their development throughout the book was good enough to keep me engaged with the story. I will say that although I enjoyed the story overall, it did feel a little long. It kind of feels like the author tried to do too much in this first instalment. In many ways I would have liked a more in depth look into how they accomplished the heist, instead of the time shifts and wider look that occurs in the book.
One of the highlights of this book for me was the magic system. In this world the source of magic comes from Grit, which is basically the excrement of dragons. Grit is split into two categories; Common Grit (e.g. Barrier, Blast and Light) and Specialty Grit (e.g. Memory, Health and Illusion). Common Grit is made from common types of source material (such as digested common metal, wood or bones), while Specialty Grit is made a single specific indigestible source material (such as nickel, human ribs and copper). Grit is detonated to create a spherical cloud that can lasts between eight to ten minutes. I really enjoyed this magic system and thought the author did a fantastic job at creating this complex system.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and will definitely check out the sequel, The Shattered Realm of Ardor Benn. I would recommend checking it out, especially if you enjoy fantasy that incorporates heists/ruses. Have you guys read this book? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Pippa

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