The Sacrifice of One by Emily Fortney review: A new fantasy series to read?

A woman reads a book at a bookstore in Bangkok on June 16, 2019. (Photo by Candida NG / AFP) (Photo credit should read CANDIDA NG/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman reads a book at a bookstore in Bangkok on June 16, 2019. (Photo by Candida NG / AFP) (Photo credit should read CANDIDA NG/AFP via Getty Images) /

Emily Fortney’s Camilla Crim series starts with The Sacrifice of One. Here’s a look into the first book to see if it’s a new fantasy series for you.

Let me start by saying I got this novel free through Voracious Readers Only in return for an honest review.

If you’ve read my book reviews in the past, you know I’m honest. If I don’t like something, I’ll say it. This is one of those books that I’m on the fence about. I enjoyed it enough to finish it, but I didn’t enjoy it enough to continue the journey with Camilla Crim. It is a series with three so far, but there will likely be more.

It’s clear a lot of development has gone into the world created. However, it doesn’t always translate to the page well unlike the way the likes of Suzanne Collins manages with The Hunger Games. I’ll start my review of The Sacrifice of One with the development of world and character.

Lacking some development of world and character

The first book should give us as much as we initially need to know about the world. Camilla certainly tells us some about Bear Gap and the War of Bear Gap, but there is a lot missing from the description.

It’s hard to picture the world. Sometimes, I found it difficult to even know where in Bear Gap the characters were. I had to read back over things to figure out where we were.

The lack of world development outside Bear Gap does offer more to explore in later books. However, it’s not enough of a reason for me to stick with the story.

Part of the issue is the character development. Being a first-person POV story, I didn’t feel like I got to know any of the characters outside of Camilla. She shares her thoughts of people, but many of their personalities are affected by her opinions of these people or just her lack of knowledge.

She’s very quick to judge some people, but then very quick to trust others. The sides of her personality don’t match up or make sense. Why would she not trust or like Lawrence but immediately trust another person who seems to want the same thing she does?

At one point, she’s terrified of losing her job because that means she can’t feed herself or her father. Yet, later, she lets her emotions take over and she’s shocked that she would suddenly find herself unable to work. Up to this point, we’ve not got to know her well enough to believe that she’d let her emotions take over like this, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

A flat plot on The Sacrifice of One

At first, the plot draws you in. It’s quick to start, making it clear that Camilla is going to have to work hard to free her brother.

What does surprise me is that she’s immediately sure that he didn’t kill anyone. She doesn’t know what he’s been through while part of the militia. Nor does she even know the whole story of what happened. She just has this blind faith, even when people point out the possibility of him being guilty.

I guess that’s supposed to be family, but even when you have faith in someone, there is a part of your mind that tells you otherwise. She doesn’t even push down that voice.

But the plot is quick to get started, and that’s a good thing. However, it doesn’t quite have the build-up that it could do with, and in the end, it falls a little flat. There are also things conveniently added in to help keep the plot moving, instead of foreshadowing these sorts of events.

There’s also a sudden addition of magic that isn’t built into the world enough to really accept it. It’s clearly something for later books, but things like that need to be woven in from the beginning and not just suddenly dropped in.

In the end, it is a quick and light read. It’s a good addition to the YA fantasy genre, but it’s just not enough for me to continue the story of Camilla Crim. I just didn’t feel like I got to know her or the world as a whole to feel the need for more of the story.

The Sacrifice of One rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Next. Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson review. dark

What are you reading right now? Is The Sacrifice of One going on your list? Let us know in the comments below.

The Sacrifice of One is available to buy on Amazon. Get it with two-day free shipping with Amazon Prime.