The Write Reads on Tour - Merchants of Knowledge and Magic by Emma McCorkle
Welcome to the first post of June. The halfway point of the year. Today, I am joining The Write Reads on Tour gang to have a look at the new book by Emma McCorkle called Merchants of Knowledge and Magic.
This is the first book in the Pentagonal Diminion. I have to say this is an original Fantasy tale with unique characters. However, before we get on talking about what I thought of the book as a whole, let's have a look at what it is about.
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Length: 530 Pages
Publishing: 8th April 2022
“My secret would plunge the world into chaos.” “How much is it worth?”
Calinthe is an asexual dragonfly-person who was sent on a mission to find two missing men. She learns one of the men is from a species thought to be extinct, who had the misfortune of being captured in a matriarchal society where all non-women are enslaved. Though she maintains a disguise with help from her companion’s illusions, Calinthe is actually intersex. If her secret were to be discovered by the matriarchy, she would be enslaved as well.
Merchants of Knowledge and Magic is a standalone epic rainbow fantasy novel featuring aroace friendships, a religion that forbids money, clever use of magic, and a fantastical world inhabited by nonhumans. It is the first book in the Merchants of the Pentagonal Dominion trilogy, three standalones which take place concurrently in the same world, but which can be read in any order.
The story revolves around Calinthe and her companion Zakuro as they travel through the Pentagonal Diminion in search of a missing demon. However, when they stable upon a powerful artifact things massively change.
The characters of Calinthe, a merchant of knowledge, is an intersex dragonfly hybrid of two different species that is regarded as highly rare. Zakuro is a Merchant of magic who is her companion throughout the Book. Throughout there is a vast array of supporting characters who enter and depart at the various parts of the story, with the most prominent being Kamikp, who by sheer force of will stamps her mark on the story.
The book revolves around the travels of Calinthe and Zakuro as they go to various districts in the Pentagonal Diminion experiencing different adventures within these zones. However, the last third of the book introduces some darker themes.,
In Merchants of knowledge and magic, Erika McCorkle paints a massive canvas in the terms of world building, describing every aspect of the different zones. For me, I felt that the sheer breadth of the world building at times overpowered the story and in order to get past this I had to put it to one side a little in order to maintain the flow of the narrative.
However, the level of detail in the book when it comes to the different zones, including customs, foods, fauna and everything you need to know displays the microscopic fervour that Emma McCorkle has put into the Pentagonal Diminion.
On the whole, I found The Merchants of Knowledge and Magic is a solid introduction to Emma McCorkle's totally original world. There is a lot to commend in how the world is built and the vivacity of the different environments. I did have a few things that I didn't get along with, but on the whole I thought it was a good book.
Despite some little quibbles however, Merchants of Knowledge and Magic brings some wonderfully original ideas to the genre and shows its diversity as a whole..
About the Author
Erika McCorkle, she/her, lives in the Pacific Northwest of the USA. She is a creator of fantasy worlds and a voyager to the worlds created by others. She spends much of her free time writing, reading, watching anime, and playing video games, all usually of the fantasy genre. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and currently works the night shift at a blood bank, meaning she is most definitely a vampire.
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