The Banished Craft by E.D.E. Bell

August 5th, 2015 Kimberly Review 58 Comments

5th Aug
The Banished Craft by E.D.E. Bell
The Banished Craft
by E.D.E. Bell
Series: Shkode #1
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Author
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

The Banished Craft is a genre-bending fantasy saga that follows the adventures of Cor, a woman caught in a dying world that does not accept her, and Atesh, a dragon scientist who's been asked to violate his own ethics or put the lives of his family at risk. Follow their trials as they deal with a shattered world, mired in political upheaval, while they try to rediscover a lost magic. The Banished Craft begins the Shkode trilogy: a quirky and modern take on dragons and wizards, exploring themes of identity, prejudice, violence, compassion, and the ways we are all connected.

Now and again, I like to lose myself in a high fantasy and when the opportunity to review The Banished Craft by E.D.E. Bell came along, I accepted. It is the first in the Shkode trilogy. How could I pass up a world with DRAGONS and WIZARDS? Fascinating and quirky this adult fantasy can easily be read by fans of the genre in all age groups.

We start with a prologue in where we meet a scientist who studies Triverses and three-dimensional begins. On this particular outing, she takes her children along and her second child who is curious in nature passed his finger through one of these Triverses causing the worlds to split into two identical worlds separating the inhabitants. Unless those inhabitants pull their worlds back, together both worlds will be lost and thus our tale begins.

Banished Craft takes us into both worlds splitting our time between them and introducing us to multiple characters. Each world is identical physically but in one world the Dragons reside and in the other the humans. Each have knowledge of the other but believe the other to be extinct in their world.

In the human world of Terrah, we meet Cora, a bright young woman who resides near university and earns an income by secretly writing under a male pseudonym. Her world is ruled by a King and has several different districts. Women are not allowed to study, live alone, or own books *shivers* Even worse they cannot raise children without a man present. What an oppressive world. Cora is looking for answers about her murdered parents and can read and write. I liked Cora, she is inquisitive, and a rule breaker. The more we learn about her the more important we realize her role is. We also spend time with a young man named Borso. When his sister Sydra gets into trouble, he leaves his homeland and they travel to SeaState to the city of Porto Nobile. Here he hopes they can blend in and begin a new life. Events that occur lead to Borso’s discontent with the laws of his land and sets in motion a civil war. We also get a perspective from the King’s wife and I enjoyed these chapters.

In the second world, we meet the Dragons and oh, how I loved this world. The Dragons speak, attend university and are ruled by an Emperor named Zee. Here we meet Atesh a scientist who is secretly studying the plant known as ha and its properties. His wife Jwala is a member of the guard and expecting their first pup. A challenge to the Emperor has Zee ordering Atesh to produce a poison. Tension between Dronna, the Emperor’s Commander threatens them which creates this delicious tension. This world was wonderful and the descriptions of the dragons vivid and remarkable.

Both worlds suffered a major catastrophic event (what we know as the splitting) and for reasons not yet known have banned ha. Both experience earthquakes, and unexplained voids. Cora and Atesh who both experiment with ha hear a voice trying to warn them of something. (We know the voice to be that of the scientist trying to correct the wrong her son did) Both characters are strong and events towards the last part of this first novel have me excited about their roles.

I took my time reading the tale and did struggle slightly in the beginning which is oft to happen with high fantasy as the world is established. In the beginning, I wanted to spend more time in the Dragon world, but eventually I became caught up in both.  The different perspectives sometimes pulled me out when I wanted to stay with a particular character. While I still have a zillion questions, those perspectives allowed me to get a feel for both worlds and its characters particularly those of Cora and Atesh.

The last one-third of The Banished Craft was intense and held me spellbound as the build of to events allowed me to have a clear picture as me moved towards a climatic ending. I have a feeling book two won’t feel as slow-paced since we have established the worlds, political climates and have been introduced to all the key players and threads of this epic fantasy.

Original, fresh and full of dragons and wizards, the world we visit in The Banished Craft was delightfully imaginative and I look forward to visiting this world and its characters again.

About E.D.E. Bell

E.D.E. Bell

Author E.D.E. Bell is a graduate of the University of Michigan with an MSE in Electrical Engineering, and works as an advisor in technical intelligence. A vegan and enthusiastic ignorer of gender rules, she feels strongly about issues related to human equality and animal compassion, and loves to inspire thought and challenge stereotypes. Married with three children, she decided to pursue her dream of writing and is excited to share that vision with fans of epic fantasy.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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58 Responses to “The Banished Craft by E.D.E. Bell”

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I take my time reading them, especially when there are two worlds and multiple perspectives..but the last 1/3 of the book I was flippin’ the pages

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think because this world is a mirror image minus the inhabitants it makes it easier Nick. Thankfully they separated things nicely so you won’t all where am I and Nick…dragons!!

  1. Katherine

    I don’t read much of this genre but I do pick it up from time to time and really enjoy it when it’s well done. That definitely sounds like the case with this book. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

    Katherine recently posted: Rome in Love - Review
  2. Rita

    I like a bit of high or epic fantasy once in a while, maybe a few chunksters a year. I love the idea of the mirror worlds and a strong woman overcoming restrictions and stereotypes..sounds great. And dragons–yes.

    I don’t care for the cover only because it presents itself as sort of juvenile, but that’s just me and my cover love issue 🙂

    The author’s bio makes her sound like the kind of person I would love to have a cup of coffee with and deep conversation. I hope I get to read this soon.

    Rita recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday- 8/4/15
  3. Braine Talk Supe

    Dragons and Wizards are hard to pass up! Is this MG-YA/YA? The cover looks like it although from your review it looks “ageless”.

    P.S. In response to your comment yesterday, it’s not you! lol

    There was this blog I used to follow where that’s what she talked about. The blog should’ve been named Debbie Downer or something. I always feel depressed after I read her posts.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is adult, the main protagonist is 29, although it is clean both in language and sexual content. At this point the violence is minimal but there is death etc.

  4. Tyler H Jolley

    I find the idea of having identical worlds but thinking the other species is extinct very intriguing. I also love epic fantasy, so this sounds right up my alley. Thanks for introducing me to to The Banished Craft.

  5. Lola

    THis sounds like a fun book. I especially like the sound of the two different worlds and how they believe the other to be extinct. Cora sounds like a great character, although the world she lives in sounds pretty oppresive indeed. And the two different world and perspectives sounds interesting and I wodner how they get conected. Great Review Kimba!

  6. Kristin

    I love Jenny the Supernatural Snark’s comment: Dragons, Kim! Dragons!!! Really, why are there not more dragon books out there!?!?!?! We as readers love them to death!!!

    I think the cover is beautiful but it keeps saying to me “middle grade” – I have no clue why!!! The story sounds amazing, though!!! Fantastic review, girlie!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It wasn’t so much pulling me out as it was I didn’t want to leave the current character..which could be a good thing depending on how you look at

  7. Katie Cross

    Oooh! I’ve read this one and really enjoyed it too. What caught me the most was the dragons and the sense of humanity about them. Bell really worked to build a culture and world about them. I couldn’t help but be impressed.

    Katie Cross recently posted: Confessions of a Chubby Girl