The Rarkyn's Familiar

The Rarkyn Trilogy Book 1

Young Adult - Fantasy - Epic
510 Pages
Reviewed on 04/13/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Nikky Lee is an award-winning author who grew up as a barefoot 90s kid in Perth, Western Australia on Whadjuk Noongar Country. She now lives in Aotearoa New Zealand with a husband, a dog and a couch potato cat. In her free time she writes speculative fiction, often burning the candle at both ends to explore fantastic worlds, mine asteroids and meet wizards. She's had over two dozen stories published in magazines, anthologies and on radio. Her debut novel, THE RARKYN'S FAMILIAR—an epic tale of a girl bonded to a monster—was published by Parliament House Press in April 2022.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

Lyss had a plan. A vow of revenge. She had watched her father being brutally murdered, almost losing her own life. The only way to bring down something like that was from the inside. She had to get close enough to those responsible. What she didn't know was destiny had its own plan for her. She trained with the sword and failed with runes and magic, but her resolve never faltered. Not even when a terrible mistake by a boy she now thought of as her brother condemned her to a fate worse than death. Before madness claims her she wants to make true her pledge of revenge. But mistakes like this don't go unnoticed. The closer she gets to the end of her time, the more she is hunted as the madness and power she fears leaves a trail those seeking to control the very application of magic can’t help but follow. Can she make it to her one chance of salvation and revenge before being lost forever? Find out in Nikky Lee’s The Rarkyn's Familiar.

From creatures unseen in the underworld, summonings, and magic, there is so much to love about Nikky Lee’s The Rarkyn's Familiar. One of the things I loved most is that it is book one in The Rarkyn Trilogy, meaning there is already a promise of more to come from this spectacular world and its characters, because I’m going to be honest, I NEED more. I am already addicted to this series. Even before touching on the complex characters with rich back stories and pressing motivations, this book has so much to offer the reader. I enjoyed watching the letters from one of the characters unfold, filling in the past, bringing to light new information on characters we've already met and how time and events twisted and changed things. As a reader, all my thirsts were slaked from complex magics, differentiating in uses and types, to wondrous lore, epic adventure, danger, and the forging of bonds. I couldn't devour this book quickly enough. This is without a doubt an author I would recommend, and a book I have already suggested to fellow readers. It's a gripping and gruelling adventure with truths uncovered, fates intertwined, and manipulation running rampant. A rich world, vibrant characters, and an adventure that will mesmerize, bind, and captivate. I need more of these characters. I can’t wait to see where their next adventure takes them. This is the kind of book you have to own, a boon to any library.

K.C. Finn

The Rarkyn’s Familiar is a work of fiction in the epic fantasy and adventure subgenres and serves as the opening installment of the Rarkyn Trilogy. It is aimed at young adult readers and was penned by author Nikky Lee. The book follows a young woman named Lyss who seeks revenge on those responsible for her father’s death. In her pursuit of vengeance, she encounters a monster who infuses her with the magical powers that she needs to get her wish, but at the cost of her mind. In an attempt to free herself of the monster, she must travel deep into the Empire, but enemy soldiers, mountainous terrain, her monstrous companion, and the beast stirring inside her all conspire to stand in the way.

I was immediately taken with the worldbuilding of this opening story in the upcoming trilogy, which does a wonderful job of laying down the foundations of the narrative to come. Whilst ensuring that the story stands alone in its own right, upon finishing, I couldn’t help but feel excited about what was to come next in the series. Nikky Lee’s original ideas for fantasy worlds are complemented perfectly by her gift for prose, which perfectly animates the world by weaving a fantastic narrative populated by dynamic characters and high-stakes drama. The progression of her journey is fast-paced but natural and always allows time for the protagonist and reader alike to breathe and process what is happening. Overall, The Rarkyn’s Familiar is a spectacular introduction to the life and adventures of Lyss as she goes from being made an orphan to suddenly gaining tremendous but terrible power that she must struggle to control.

Samantha Gregory

The Rarkyn's Familiar by Nikky Lee is a young adult fantasy featuring Lyss, a young woman who has lost her father and is looking for revenge. Her plans take a wrong turn when she finds herself bonded to a rarkyn called Skaar, a kind of monster. They now must learn to work together if they are going to survive. As they set out on the road, they will both be tested and forced to face their deepest fears and greatest enemies. With everyone against them, they can only rely on each other.

Nikky Lee has written an entertaining book with The Rarkyn's Familiar. It has a strong female protagonist, with a tragic backstory, who just wants to avenge her father's death. Being attached to a monster does not factor into her plans, but she soon learns that they have the ability to help each other. The author has built an interesting world and does not overdo it on descriptions, but weaves these into the story well. The story is quite fast-paced, but that really adds to the action sequences and kept me reading. I liked Lyss and I felt for her and what she was going through. She has lost her father which was traumatic, but she draws on that pain to do what she needs to do. This is the first book in a series or a trilogy. I would read the following book to see what happens next. Epic and high fantasy fans would enjoy this book. I highly recommend it.