The Will of the Many is the first book in the new ‘Hierarchy’ series. It is epic fantasy meets dark academia with a twisty, action-packed tale, full of political intrigue. The mysterious main character, Vis, is hiding a secret past by posing as an orphan. When he is adopted by a powerful figure in the Catenan Republic he is sent to the prestigious Academy. Here he will compete against the children of important families. But things get more complex. While there, he must solve a murder and search for an ancient weapon, all the while aiming to come top of his class.
This book is set into three distinct parts: Vis’s life as an orphan; his adoption by Ulciscor Telimus; and finally, his time at the Academy. The academic setting, coupled with the dynamics between the different class levels and the students, make for some tense scenes.
Vis makes friends with other outcasts. He has a strong sense of justice, demonstrated on his first day at the school when he stands up for another student and fights on his behalf.
Islington cleverly intersperses the world and character building with bursts of action and intrigue which kept me gripped from beginning to end. The premise of a system that uses people’s Will (strength, drive and focus) to power everything, including those people higher up, is engaging and clever.
Overall, it is a fabulously addictive read which I would recommend for lovers of epic fantasy.
Reviewed by Brooke Michie
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Islington was born and raised in southern Victoria, Australia. An avid fantasy reader for many years, it was only when he read Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series that he was finally inspired to write something of his own. He now lives with his wife and daughter on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.