Reviewed by: Jessica Prieto

This book hooked me from the moment that I looked at the cover. I love fantasy reading, so the archer on the cover with the dark forest behind her immediately caught my attention. The blurb on the back seemed incredibly interesting, so I decided to give this book a shot.

I am so glad that I did. Bethany Hoeflich’s writing has gotten me excited about this book series and craving more. I plan on ordering the next two books in the trilogy very soon. It is a book that I highly recommend.

“He stepped toward the still sleeping infant, reaching for the silver blade he always carried beneath his robes. As a rule, he did not kill children, but he was willing to make an exception in the circumstance. He needed to stop this threat before it started. It was his duty.”

Dreg, page 4

The book begins with Mara, a dreg living in a small village. For those who don’t know, a “Dreg” is someone who is not Gifted as a baby, for whatever reason it may be. This means that while everyone else has amazing feats of magic and power, dregs do not. These people are looked down upon as less than dirt. They are hated and scorned, and they don’t get the opportunity to have a life. This is what Mara has lived with up until the book begins.

However, Mara soon discovers that she has a power that the Order – the powerful organization of Magi that has an iron-grip on the world – fears. She’s thrown into an adventure that will leave readers struggling to put down. With plot twists and intrigue galore, it’s a fantastic read.

The characters that Hoeflich has crafted are wonderful and unique. With a basic description, I could name each of the main and supporting characters. They all have their own personalities and quirks that make them individual, and I absolutely love that. Mara, the main character, is great to read about. She’s fearless and driven, and her sense of heroism is one that I am jealous that I don’t have personally! There is also one character that I wish was more in the first book, but I am very excited to see if he is more prevalent in the rest of the trilogy.

The word that Hoeflich has created for her novel is vast and vibrant, full of interesting characters and life. I was drawn in to the little village where the book opens, and then thrown into a desert nation and frozen wasteland. All of the areas were so different that it was fairly easy to keep track of.

This, however, is where most of my critiques lie. Because the world is so engaging, I wanted to know more about each place. However, it felt as if we were given a location and almost immediately whisked away to a new one. I would have loved time in each place to really explore and dig deeper into it. Still, it does make sense, given the nature of the book, that Mara was not able to stay in one place for very long. I only wish there was maybe one place throughout the middle of the book that allowed for some rest and exploration.

Overall, I thought that this novel was unbelievably fantastic. I plan on ordering the next two in the trilogy very soon, and I highly recommend these books to anyone who loves a thrilling fantasy adventure filled with magic, heroism, and heartbreak.

My Overall Review of Dreg

Characters: 9/10 – I absolutely loved all of the unique characters. Hoeflich does an amazing job of making them all individual. There were some that I wished to know more about, however, and I am hoping that they make an appearance in a later book.

Setting: 8/10 – The world of Dreg is well-crafted and interesting. However, there were many places that I wished to know more about, because it felt as if we only got a tiny glimpse.

Plot: 8/10 – This story kept me gripped from the moment I began to read it. The plot makes sense and flows very well. There are some places that move very fast, though, that I felt like could have been slowed down just a touch.

Description: 10/10 – It’s a no-brainer on this one. Hoeflich describes everything clearly, to the point where I could see the entire book in my mind as I read, which is what authors strive for.

Grammar: 10/10 – The grammar of this book was impeccable all throughout the read.

Overall Score: 45/50 – This was an amazing read, and I highly recommend it!

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