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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Mistwalker by K.W. Quinn is a gritty adventure that finds Cass making a decision that will alter his life forever. Life for Cass hasn’t been easy as an Air living in the Earth empire where everyone looks down on him. Matters take a drastic turn when his best friend is sold and set to die in the fighting arena as payment for his father’s debts. Cass refuses to let him die and has only one way to save him. Cass makes a deal with a Muse in an exchange that will trade his soul for the safety of his friend. Barely making it away from the Conglomerate alive, Cass and Andy must stay a step ahead of not just the government but a soul-eating dragon that’s tracking their every move. As they find help in a surprising place, they discover other elements are seeking to make a change in leadership, and the legend of a Mistwalker returns among rumors of a rebellion.
K.W. Quinn has created a vivid and detailed world that brings the four elements to life in a society of oppression as the characters' lives are bargained away with ease. The story weaves original mythology that runs through the premise in the form of the powerful figure called a Mistwalker that is meant to save them all and give them freedom. The oppression in society weighs heavily on each of the characters and is the catalyst that sparks a rebellion against the government. The relationship between Cass and Andy is at the heart of the story as they’re so close that they’re willing to sacrifice for the other and give each other a constant source of comfort, honesty, and protection. Romance is woven throughout as Cass makes a surprising connection that gives a new sense of hope. The other perspective woven throughout the story is Rayah, the dragon hunting them, who finds her own escape from an oppressive role in society, and an intense conflict that she finds herself in as her empathy starts to take root and twists her perspective. Mistwalker is a fantasy ideal for all ages with a gritty world that pulls you into the magic, the four elements, romance, friendship, and adventure that unfolds with every page.