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The world was their creation until they sought to destroy it. Dutybound is the story of Terestria and its Virtues, heirs of nobility forced to face the Sins of their forefathers and bring their world from the brink of Darkness. Among them is Lucia Sanoon, High Maiden to the province of Moz and chosen of the Light Wings. The ancient relic, bestowed upon a long-forgotten civi The world was their creation until they sought to destroy it. Dutybound is the story of Terestria and its Virtues, heirs of nobility forced to face the Sins of their forefathers and bring their world from the brink of Darkness. Among them is Lucia Sanoon, High Maiden to the province of Moz and chosen of the Light Wings. The ancient relic, bestowed upon a long-forgotten civilization by the Light itself, was forged to harbor the Light's essence if ever Terestria's balance were threatened by the Darkness' desire to corrupt the Light's most-prized creation, Life. If successful and the long-standing covenant between the Light and its Protectors were ever to be broken, the Darkness would be free to roam Terestria and reclaim the land it had a hand in creating, bringing death and destruction to every corner of the world. But as long as there is Light, there is hope. With the help of the Light Wings and its power, Lucia must heed its call to assemble the Light's Virtues and lead them into battle against the very Sins that seek to destroy their world. But finding the four will not be easy, for much of the knowledge is lost and the understanding of one's own morality is the only key to unlocking the power each of them holds within. A story of faith and morality, Dutybound will lead you through a journey of self-discovery as our heroes face conflict from outside and within themselves. Duty, desire, envy, hope, hate, love, pride, and temperance all are challenged within this series in an epic tale that is sure to have you pondering your own true nature.


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The world was their creation until they sought to destroy it. Dutybound is the story of Terestria and its Virtues, heirs of nobility forced to face the Sins of their forefathers and bring their world from the brink of Darkness. Among them is Lucia Sanoon, High Maiden to the province of Moz and chosen of the Light Wings. The ancient relic, bestowed upon a long-forgotten civi The world was their creation until they sought to destroy it. Dutybound is the story of Terestria and its Virtues, heirs of nobility forced to face the Sins of their forefathers and bring their world from the brink of Darkness. Among them is Lucia Sanoon, High Maiden to the province of Moz and chosen of the Light Wings. The ancient relic, bestowed upon a long-forgotten civilization by the Light itself, was forged to harbor the Light's essence if ever Terestria's balance were threatened by the Darkness' desire to corrupt the Light's most-prized creation, Life. If successful and the long-standing covenant between the Light and its Protectors were ever to be broken, the Darkness would be free to roam Terestria and reclaim the land it had a hand in creating, bringing death and destruction to every corner of the world. But as long as there is Light, there is hope. With the help of the Light Wings and its power, Lucia must heed its call to assemble the Light's Virtues and lead them into battle against the very Sins that seek to destroy their world. But finding the four will not be easy, for much of the knowledge is lost and the understanding of one's own morality is the only key to unlocking the power each of them holds within. A story of faith and morality, Dutybound will lead you through a journey of self-discovery as our heroes face conflict from outside and within themselves. Duty, desire, envy, hope, hate, love, pride, and temperance all are challenged within this series in an epic tale that is sure to have you pondering your own true nature.

45 review for Dutybound

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    I thought this was a very good story. The world was interesting as well as the magic included. I really liked what the author did with the idea of Light vs Dark. At first, I had a hard time getting into it. Something just didn’t really click with me when it came to this one. But I did end up enjoying it overall. The second half of the book really picked up, and I enjoyed it. There was a fair amount of world buildings, which I enjoyed and found interesting. There’s also a very heavy religious aspec I thought this was a very good story. The world was interesting as well as the magic included. I really liked what the author did with the idea of Light vs Dark. At first, I had a hard time getting into it. Something just didn’t really click with me when it came to this one. But I did end up enjoying it overall. The second half of the book really picked up, and I enjoyed it. There was a fair amount of world buildings, which I enjoyed and found interesting. There’s also a very heavy religious aspect to this story. The main character’s faith is a big part of her journey. I found that interesting and enjoyed seeing it play out. It had a unique magic system that I hadn’t seen much. I thought it was all very unique compared to other things I’ve read and I ended up enjoying it. Thank you Books Forward for this digital arc!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kobe

    3.5 stars. An epic fantasy story that features three characters that I loved, and who were really well developed. Each one had different struggles and motivations that were really interesting to read about, and the final scene was so fulfilling! The plot was fairly unique, and I particularly enjoyed reading the faster paced scenes over the slower ones. The descriptions of the world were excellent, and I really enjoyed the writing style of the whole book. That being said, I felt like the relationsh 3.5 stars. An epic fantasy story that features three characters that I loved, and who were really well developed. Each one had different struggles and motivations that were really interesting to read about, and the final scene was so fulfilling! The plot was fairly unique, and I particularly enjoyed reading the faster paced scenes over the slower ones. The descriptions of the world were excellent, and I really enjoyed the writing style of the whole book. That being said, I felt like the relationships in developed far too quickly for my liking, and there were a few points in the book where the story seemed to progress too rapidly. It also took a while to get into the story, however, once it picked up a bit it definitely improved. Overall, I would recommend this to people looking for an epic fantasy story with compelling main characters and for those who like interesting magic/power systems!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Vance

    This is seriously a totally different kind of fantasy book, though fans of good ole GRR Martin will definitely be able to immerse themselves in this new world Alvarez has created. Do I want to be Luzanna? Umm yes kind of. Actually more than kind of. So excited to see where the series goes!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Rideout

    I was granted eARC access to Dutybound via NetGalley and then volunteered to review on the blog tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, so I was actually presented with two digital review copies. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest. Dutybound both feels like classic high fantasy and something entirely new at the same time. I've heard others comparing the writing to George R. R. Martin and I must agree! That's what this feels most I was granted eARC access to Dutybound via NetGalley and then volunteered to review on the blog tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, so I was actually presented with two digital review copies. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest. Dutybound both feels like classic high fantasy and something entirely new at the same time. I've heard others comparing the writing to George R. R. Martin and I must agree! That's what this feels most like to me. The descriptions, world-building, and general prose do feel very much like Martin's work, both A Song of Ice and Fire and his other works. In terms of the actual characters and plot, though, Dutybound is its own book! This is a story you've never read before. Lucia, Leo, Luzanna (we've got a thing for the letter L, I see) and the rest of the cast are all very well developed, relatable and empathetic, and interesting. Luzanna ended up being my favourite, but they were all a pleasure to spend time with. Mark writes strong females exceptionally well (again, if one of the best parts about ASoIaF for you was Aria, you're going to love this!) Be warned that this book has a very slow start. It asks you to sit and wait patiently as the characters and world are thoroughly introduced before the plot really gets going. It certainly isn't boring, the info dumps and character introductions are well done and entertaining, but if you like a book that throws you into the action on page one be aware that this one isn't going to do that. Hang in there! It's worth the wait. This book is full of very philosophical themes, exploring light vs dark and the morality behind our choices. If you're only here for action scenes and a fantasy world you'll get that in spades, but I believe the true treasure at the heart of this book is all of the tough questions it asks and attempts to answer. It's fresh, it's captivating, and it's inspiring. If you like epic fantasy, if you like Martin-esque high fantasy that feels like historical fiction with magic, or if you like a lot of captical-C-Concepts in your fantasy, this book needs to be at the top of your TBR!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anne Hart

    Lucia Sanoon is having to grow up quickly as the High Maiden to the province of Moz. She and her mother have been abandoned by her father. Or have they? Lucia soon gets some unexpected information from Leo. He is from a rival kingdom and is the bearer of a very interesting message. The development of the characters and world take up a lot of the beginning of the book. I loved the descriptions of the fashion and style. These characters are great costumes for Comic-Con! Then we get the fascinating Lucia Sanoon is having to grow up quickly as the High Maiden to the province of Moz. She and her mother have been abandoned by her father. Or have they? Lucia soon gets some unexpected information from Leo. He is from a rival kingdom and is the bearer of a very interesting message. The development of the characters and world take up a lot of the beginning of the book. I loved the descriptions of the fashion and style. These characters are great costumes for Comic-Con! Then we get the fascinating Luzanna who is an amazing warrior. She throws a kink in the complex relationship between Lucia and Leo. I loved how Leo, Lucia, and Luzanna all have names that start with an L. It helps to keep the imagery of the light versus darkness battle. The other thing I found this author did better than most fantasy authors was to make the fight scenes something I could follow. Having just read Priory of the Orange Tree in which the epic battle scenes almost required note taking, I really appreciated being able to visualize the epic battles. Since we know it is part of a series, I was wondering how the characters I had invested in getting to know would develop and grow. I was not disappointed. Leo, Lucia, and Luzanna all made each other stronger and added a layer of depth to their personalities. I can’t wait for the next book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Meenu

    This book is very different. Lucia, Leo and Luzanna are well written characters. It's about the journey of the characters battling the dark. I would say that the writing is a bit difficult and very descriptive. It was hard to get into the world and get attached to the characters in the beginning since it takes time for the actual story to start. But it gets better after that. The plot and the action scenes are really good and I enjoyed it. Overall it's a good read. This book is very different. Lucia, Leo and Luzanna are well written characters. It's about the journey of the characters battling the dark. I would say that the writing is a bit difficult and very descriptive. It was hard to get into the world and get attached to the characters in the beginning since it takes time for the actual story to start. But it gets better after that. The plot and the action scenes are really good and I enjoyed it. Overall it's a good read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Unique fantasy world with unique characters. The book was different from other fantasy books I have read, in a good way. The plot was great and creative. The length of the book was just right. I really enjoyed the book and would recommend to others :)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brinley

    DNF at 78% I really wanted to love this one. It had glowing reviews, a stunning cover, and a synopsis that drew me in. Sadly, I had to give up on this one, it felt like a waste of time to continue. I think my main problem with this has to be the writing. You could tell it was a debut, and that the editing was lax. From quotes that made no sense and were overly metaphorical, to the underdeveloped characters, to the overuse of certain phrases, I hated trying to read this. I think my main problem wit DNF at 78% I really wanted to love this one. It had glowing reviews, a stunning cover, and a synopsis that drew me in. Sadly, I had to give up on this one, it felt like a waste of time to continue. I think my main problem with this has to be the writing. You could tell it was a debut, and that the editing was lax. From quotes that made no sense and were overly metaphorical, to the underdeveloped characters, to the overuse of certain phrases, I hated trying to read this. I think my main problem with this was our female characters, Lucia and Luzanna. Over the course of 164 pages, they cried 20 different times. That's once every 8 pages. Yet, for some reason, Leo, our main male character never succumbed to his emotions. He was 'tough'. And sure, the latter half of the book attributes some of Lucia's strengths to being so emotional, but it really rubbed me the wrong way. Plus, both of the girls were constantly needing to be saved by Leo, which made the crying situation even worse. As for the plot, it was almost nonexistent. The worldbuilding never made sense to me, and it took the first 260 pages for the characters to develop a goal. Before that, they were wandering around and fighting creatures of darkness. It didn't make sense, and their goal wasn't compelling at all. Among all the other reviews so far, it looks like I'm the only one with this opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. I struggled to get into this from the very start, and it never picked up for me. Thanks to Books Forward for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

  9. 5 out of 5

    James Ethan

    This book has a lot going for it. Aside from being one of the most original fantasy I’ve read in recent times, it’s got complex character arcs that deliver a heavy impact in such a short span of a few pages. Everyone talks about Luzanna, but what about Emma? She’s only in a third of the book but her story is sooooo tragic and her connection to Lucia was a twist I didn’t see coming, especially with what she becomes taking on the burdens of her brother. I noticed a lot of reviewers haven’t brought This book has a lot going for it. Aside from being one of the most original fantasy I’ve read in recent times, it’s got complex character arcs that deliver a heavy impact in such a short span of a few pages. Everyone talks about Luzanna, but what about Emma? She’s only in a third of the book but her story is sooooo tragic and her connection to Lucia was a twist I didn’t see coming, especially with what she becomes taking on the burdens of her brother. I noticed a lot of reviewers haven’t brought her up at all which is surprising. There is so much pain in this book. These characters don’t just lose the lives they’ve always known, but they lose themselves in the process. They’re forced to realize the world they knew was never what they thought it was and that destroys them. Their journey does eventually leads to them coming to terms with their true identities and finding light within themselves, but I feel like this story brings up a lot of relevant questions of morality outside of the characters as well. It’s definitely a philosophical book. With generational curses, flawed upbringings, and betrayals coming from the people who you love the most, you can’t help but feel sorry for Lucia, Leo, Luzanna, and even Emma. The xenophobia Lucia and Leo experience in the second half of the book is so resonant to present day politics. The themes of knowledge and how it’s manipulated to control what others think and believe, also relevant to present day. This book shows a heavy contrast between generations. The new generation is summoned by the light to destroy the darkness born of the former generation’s sin with their virtue. Overall, this fantasy is unique in its approach to real life philosophical questions. It has a historical and realism quality to it and it’s characters are all so different. They are each driven by something different. Lucia wants to know her father and learn more about the gift he left behind. Leo wants to honor his father’s dying wish by protecting a girl he’s falling for. Luzanna wants to preserve the future her father tried to destroy and Emma wants to punish the world for the sins her brother commits. To me, there wasn’t ever one singular goal just like there wasn’t a singular villain. This fantasy obviously wants you to see these characters in their own light with their own motivations for wanting to seek out the truth and destroy the darkness. The goal is to discover the knowledge needed to right the wrongs of the past, but each character has to go about doing so in different ways. And they do it in badass ways! I think it’s worth noting this book is HIGHLY visual. The action sequences are vivid and brutal. But also beautiful and inspiring. This is a book you can easily picture in your head. Conclusively, I found this book to be fresh, unique, relatable, and layered, very much like GRRM as others have stated. I can definitely see that. The heavy foreshadowing and consistency of the narrative makes good use of keeping things connected throughout. I’m excited to see what comes next because there was a decent amount of build up in this book and many questions left unanswered by the end. What happened to Emma? Is she far gone and lost forever? What of the fourth virtue? It’s going to be a wild ride. I sure hope Book 2 comes real soon!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica F

    A huge thank you to Books Forward Friends for sending me a copy of Dutybound to read and review! Dutybound is a unique fantasy unlike anything I have ever read before. It has heavy religious undertones - our main characters Lucia, Leo and Luzanna set off on a quest to defeat the darkness. A manifestation of the sins of their ancestors as foretold in a prophecy. They must use the power of light with prayer and a strong faith to do so before their entire kingdom is destroyed and burned. I had a rea A huge thank you to Books Forward Friends for sending me a copy of Dutybound to read and review! Dutybound is a unique fantasy unlike anything I have ever read before. It has heavy religious undertones - our main characters Lucia, Leo and Luzanna set off on a quest to defeat the darkness. A manifestation of the sins of their ancestors as foretold in a prophecy. They must use the power of light with prayer and a strong faith to do so before their entire kingdom is destroyed and burned. I had a really difficult time getting into this one. It is well written, but the religious aspect was just not my style. I prefer action scenes to be more traditional fighting instead of praying. I didn't really connect with the characters until about halfway through the book, and wasn't introduced to Luzanna, who was my favorite, until also halfway. The story does pick up significantly once you hit that half at mark. This is a series that would be interesting for those that like reading about religions. It is definitely a very different fantasy read than anything I have seen before, just wasn't for me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kion

    Thank you to the Books Forward Program, NetGalley, and the publisher for allowing me to read this! This is such a unique fantasy book! The cover is gorgeous. I will admit it took a little to get into but I feel that's very usual when reading some fantasy works but once I was used to the way it was written I was hooked. Dutybound brings you on a journey and shows the fight between the light and the darkness. The main characters Leo, Luzanna, and Lucia set off to defeat the darkness (A manifestation Thank you to the Books Forward Program, NetGalley, and the publisher for allowing me to read this! This is such a unique fantasy book! The cover is gorgeous. I will admit it took a little to get into but I feel that's very usual when reading some fantasy works but once I was used to the way it was written I was hooked. Dutybound brings you on a journey and shows the fight between the light and the darkness. The main characters Leo, Luzanna, and Lucia set off to defeat the darkness (A manifestation of the sins of their ancestors as foretold in a prophecy) with the power of light and faith. I want to be Luzanna, she was definitely my favorite! If you are a fan of Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, you'd love this one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lindsaysbookclub

    4 Stars I want to start by saying I really enjoy the creativity of this book. I feel like a lot of times fantasy/sci-fi books are very repetitive with the plot and this was so unique I absolutely loved it! The creativity that went into developing this plot shows because it is amazing, it’s interesting and captivating. My only issues were that the beginning was a little confusing for me but as it went on and explained things I found myself thinking back to the beginning and understanding it more. 4 Stars I want to start by saying I really enjoy the creativity of this book. I feel like a lot of times fantasy/sci-fi books are very repetitive with the plot and this was so unique I absolutely loved it! The creativity that went into developing this plot shows because it is amazing, it’s interesting and captivating. My only issues were that the beginning was a little confusing for me but as it went on and explained things I found myself thinking back to the beginning and understanding it more. However, I felt like I had no connection to the characters and they were just kind of there. But overall this was a really great book and I still love the plot!

  13. 4 out of 5

    suxzuki

    Dutybound, is a great fantasy book. I enjoyed reading it since it had a great plot and well-developed characters. Luzanna, was my favorite character of all of them. I mean she could choke me and I would say thank you. Or marry me, either thing works. Lol. The book was well written but in the beginning, it was a bit slow and hard to comprehend. However, as you get farther in the book it becomes easier to understand as the plot grows. Just stick around to the end and you will be rewarded with Mark Dutybound, is a great fantasy book. I enjoyed reading it since it had a great plot and well-developed characters. Luzanna, was my favorite character of all of them. I mean she could choke me and I would say thank you. Or marry me, either thing works. Lol. The book was well written but in the beginning, it was a bit slow and hard to comprehend. However, as you get farther in the book it becomes easier to understand as the plot grows. Just stick around to the end and you will be rewarded with Mark's extraordinary writing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    onyxwriter

    The plot does not start right away but keeps you interested. I like that the book is not too long nor too short. You get to know the characters really well and the way it was written just adds more charm. I would note to all my non-native English speakers that this is not the simplest English as it has a lot of detailed descriptions that might give some people trouble. I personally liked it but was not blown away. Would recommend.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Robinson

    I didn't expect to like it as much as I did, but the story, and amazing characters just made it all for me I didn't expect to like it as much as I did, but the story, and amazing characters just made it all for me

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christine McLarty

    Thrown into a new kind of fantasy, Dutybound takes you on a journey through light and dark philosophical themes. Alvarez introduces you to a group of very diverse and well-written characters. Lucia, the sheltered high maiden who is stronger than she seems. Leo, a hothead from a rival kingdom. And the dazzling, ever intelligent Luzanna from a warrior tribe far away. On the run from the dark forces that be, you watch the journey of the characters and their struggle with duty, fighting to right the Thrown into a new kind of fantasy, Dutybound takes you on a journey through light and dark philosophical themes. Alvarez introduces you to a group of very diverse and well-written characters. Lucia, the sheltered high maiden who is stronger than she seems. Leo, a hothead from a rival kingdom. And the dazzling, ever intelligent Luzanna from a warrior tribe far away. On the run from the dark forces that be, you watch the journey of the characters and their struggle with duty, fighting to right the wrongs from the previous generations before them. With gorgeous imagery and fight scenes that will leave you on the edge of your seat, it leaves the reader wanting more. As a fantasy novel, the action scenes are thorough and well thought-out, but it takes the reader a bit longer to connect to the characters on an emotional level. The beginning of the novel focuses more on world building than creating that bond between the characters and the reader. When watched Lucia and Leo grow closer, it makes the reader wonder "will they, or won't they?" As the novel progresses, the reader gets a better taste of that connection, especially after Luzanna is introduced. Where will she play in that dynamic? As a reader, you are impatient to find out: Will the characters grow closer together or will they find themselves in strife after spending time apart? No cliffhanger here, but once readers reach the end, they find that their story is not yet complete and in fact, much is still left unanswered. Will Lucia and the gang be able to defeat the sins of their fathers, or will the darkness overcome the light? Watch as the characters discover the strength in themselves and one another, finding that this is only just the beginning of something much greater than they ever imagined. There is so much more than meets the eye, have they bitten off more than they can chew, or will light prevail after all? We'll find out in the next installment of the Light Wings Epic!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amani

    Thank you to Books Forward for a copy of this book. I wasn’t a fan of Lucia mainly due to the fact that she spends a good portion of the book crying. Leo is also a bit bland, but the world-building was interesting. I would have liked to see the protagonists have a goal in the beginning half of the book rather than having to wait over 200 pages before they finally did. This was not the book for me and I nearly DNF’d it which is a shame because from the blurb it looked like it was going to be righ Thank you to Books Forward for a copy of this book. I wasn’t a fan of Lucia mainly due to the fact that she spends a good portion of the book crying. Leo is also a bit bland, but the world-building was interesting. I would have liked to see the protagonists have a goal in the beginning half of the book rather than having to wait over 200 pages before they finally did. This was not the book for me and I nearly DNF’d it which is a shame because from the blurb it looked like it was going to be right up my alley. I also would have liked to see more build-up in the relationships. Unfortunately this wasn’t for me, but maybe it’s the right one for you.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Vaughn

    DutyBound Light Wings Epic Volume 1 is well written and full of beautiful imagery. The chapters are short and well paced. The story is a new twist on the familiar battle between light and dark, good and evil, that will appease even the pickiest fantasy seekers (Fans of Tolkien and R.R. Martin are sure to enjoy). Lucia is a protagonist that you can root for from the very beginning. You will sympathize with her struggle and hope for her triumph. The ending will leave you feeling empowered to take DutyBound Light Wings Epic Volume 1 is well written and full of beautiful imagery. The chapters are short and well paced. The story is a new twist on the familiar battle between light and dark, good and evil, that will appease even the pickiest fantasy seekers (Fans of Tolkien and R.R. Martin are sure to enjoy). Lucia is a protagonist that you can root for from the very beginning. You will sympathize with her struggle and hope for her triumph. The ending will leave you feeling empowered to take on the struggles in your own life. “In life and in death, with love, darkness cannot destroy us.” Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (Nissa_the.bookworm)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Corrine Pritchett

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mark Aaron Aaron

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marissa DeCuir

  23. 5 out of 5

    Caelan Bernal

  24. 5 out of 5

    Light Wings Promotions

  25. 5 out of 5

    Books Forward

  26. 4 out of 5

    Saara

  27. 4 out of 5

    Caelan Bernal

  28. 4 out of 5

    Angelina Obando

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nikita Afsar

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rustie

  31. 4 out of 5

    Alex Helm

  32. 4 out of 5

    Ilene Harris

  33. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  34. 4 out of 5

    Janice Vega-Liros

  35. 4 out of 5

    Leo

  36. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  37. 5 out of 5

    Killian

  38. 5 out of 5

    Quinn Herber

  39. 4 out of 5

    Hed Anna Eriksson

  40. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Knight

  41. 5 out of 5

    Toireasa

  42. 5 out of 5

    Neil

  43. 5 out of 5

    Jjoo

  44. 4 out of 5

    Tabatha (tab.talks.books)

  45. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Manning Whitfield

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