Author: C.K. Sorens
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Trimarked is the debut novel by C.K. Sorens and is the first in a new Young Adult fantasy series which was bought to my attention through Bookstagram (whilst you’re here, if you have Instagram and don’t follow me already I would love to get in touch here).
Trimarked is set in the town of Trifecta, a town which has been cut off from the rest of the world due to magical Veil energy. It appears that Earth is shared on three plains, Terra, Heldu and Gypsum which are occupied by Humans, Fae and Witches and Veil energy has been what has kept the three realms separate from each other. However Fae and Witches were forced into the human realm where Veil energy hardened to form a bubble around the town and surrounding areas and no one is able to escape.
The novel begins 20 years after this event at The End of the World – the main road into the town where the bubble cuts off the town. There we meet Ember who is highly unusual as she is known as the Trimarked girl. This is because her mother was a human and her father was a witch, yet she was born on Fae land. As a result her existing is forbidden and all that keeps her safe is Binding Ink – a spell cast by the Fae and Witches to stop her from using magic, that and Nicu, a Fae assigned to watch over her.
Ember is sidelined by the three races but during an act of self defence against a human named Brandt, she is able to manipulate the barrier temporarily and throw him out of Trifecta. However, her magical abilities were seen and the Fae believe her powers may be beyond containment, putting everything she knows at risk.
Also when someone from the outside carves their way into Trifecta through the barrier, it could have consequences that affect her very existence…
I really enjoyed Trimarked as I thought it was a great introduction to the series.
The world of Trifecta is fully realised and I like how Sorens describes it as being quite grounded in reality but also has fantastical elements.
For example when the story begins it is 20 years after the Veil has been formed but there are descriptions that show the world has been lived in, for example as the town has been cut off things that they would’ve imported in have largely run out or rationed, for instance car usage has been rationed to ensure the vehicles last as long as possible.
However, the Fae and Witches have carved up areas of the town for themselves and the way these are described create significant contrasts with the Witches turning an industrial area into a luscious environment full of colour as they have used the magic in nature to reclaim it. Whereas the secretive Fae have carved tunnels deep underground to shut themselves away.
I’m a big fan of various sci-fi and fantasy series and this book does have a few influences which I think really make it stand out.
The Veil barrier reminded me a lot of Under the Dome and also there were some elements which reminded me of 90s fantasy series like Buffy The Vampire Slayer but that wasn’t a bad thing and probably shows my age more than anything else!
The plot was interesting and moves along at a good pace and there are lots of interesting characters throughout. I particularly liked the geeky scientist-witch Devi who looks to find the actual explanations behind the Witch magic. There is also the strong and protective Nicu who is interesting as he is repeatedly torn between his duty as a Fae and his loyalty to Ember. Finally I also really liked Aaron, the reformed bully who ends up helping Ember as her magical powers are discovered.
The only thing I would say with the characters is there is quite a few and with three different factions in Trifecta I did occasionally find myself getting confused over which character was which.
The novel also has some interesting questions and doesn’t answer everything and ends on a great cliffhanger epilogue so I can’t wait to read part two and see where the series goes next. The second part is coming in 2022 so I would check this out before then. If you’ve read Trimarked I would love to hear your thoughts down below!