ARC Review: Master of One // A YA queer fantasy packed with action and yearning

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Title: Master of One
Author: Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett
Genre/s and tags: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Heists/Adventure, LGBTQ+
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication date: November 10, 2020
Content warnings: Violence, murder/mentions of murder, torture, manipulation
Goodreads synopsis: 

Sinister sorcery. Gallows humor. A queer romance so glorious it could be right out of fae legend itself. Master of One is a fantasy unlike any other.

Rags is a thief—an excellent one. He’s stolen into noble’s coffers, picked soldier’s pockets, and even liberated a ring or two off the fingers of passersby. Until he’s caught by the Queensguard and forced to find an ancient fae relic for a sadistic royal sorcerer.

But Rags could never have guessed this “relic” would actually be a fae himself—a distractingly handsome, annoyingly perfect, ancient fae prince called Shining Talon. Good thing Rags can think on his toes, because things just get stranger from there…

With the heist and intrigue of Six of Crows and the dark fairy tale feel of The Cruel Prince, this young adult fantasy debut will have readers rooting for a pair of reluctant heroes as they take on a world-ending fae prophecy, a malicious royal plot, and, most dangerously of all, their feelings for each other.

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I received an e-arc via Edelweiss in exchange for honest review.
Thank you so much to one of the authors!

Listen, Master of One is one of my most anticipated reads for 2020! So when one of the authors said they’ll send me an e-arc, I almost cried. I was so excited for this book! I mean, heists, faes, plus queer romance?! It caught my attention indeed.

Filled with action, yearning, and a dark and intriguing plot, Master of One will surely leave you wanting for more.

My thoughts on Master of One

First of all, there were already a lot of action and suspense in the early parts of the book. As a reader, I was immediately thrown into Rags’ predicament and how he found himself in the middle of a strange heist and the beginning of an adventure.

The characters were all interesting and I loved seeing them all come together. I particularly liked Rags’ perspective. He was the reluctant hero dealing with his own self-doubt and insecurities (all the while trying to stop catching feelings for the fae prince). There were several other character perspectives, and that can get confusing at times, but after while you start getting absorbed with their own storylines.

I loved the plot and how intriguing and dark it was. I was actually surprised when I realized the plot also dealt with darker themes. Yes, there were heists and magic and political intrigue, but there was also power struggle, manipulation, exploitation, loss of consent/free will. I didn’t expect this, but at the same time I ended up being more invested in the book because of it. And because there were a lot of components to the plot, the pacing seemed off sometimes, like it was taking time to build up/seemed slow.

As for the romance, I have to say, there was a lot more yearning than I anticipated (which of course is not a bad thing!). It reminded me a bit of fanfiction… You know, the ones that are slow burn and have 300k words and end up hurting you more than you’d like to admit… yeah, that. I think the authors did a really great job forming the chemistry and the relationship between Rags and Shining Talon. (I mean all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball *sniffs*). [slight spoiler incoming, please look away or proceed with caution] Also, the fact that Rags wanted to be with Tal on their own free will and not because the fae is bound to him by servitude made me tear up. I loved that!

The world-building was rich, but there were times when I feel like it lacked. I think this is because the world-building kind of focused more on the faes and sorcerers, and the war between them. And although I loved that, I also wanted to know more about the kingdom, the people, the noble houses.

Thinking back though, this book is so much more than I imagined. I thought I already knew what kind of book it will be, but upon reading it, I’m glad there were a few surprises along the way.

Overall, Master of One is an exciting new queer YA fantasy to look out for! I’ll definitely be looking forward to the sequel!


Buy Links + Preorder Campaign

Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop | Barnes & Noble

Click on the image to find out more about the Master of One preorder campaign!

3 thoughts on “ARC Review: Master of One // A YA queer fantasy packed with action and yearning

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