[📚/✒️] REVIEW: Renegade by Mallory McCartney

Hey book lovers!

Jana here with another review – this time I was humbled to be sent a copy of Renegade, the prequel in the Black Dawn series by Mallory McCartney, an amazing author and a wonderful lady from my hometown whom I have had the pleasure of spending some time with.

Fun fact: Mallory has a book panel coming up at Chapter’s (south London location) here in my city with Kelley Armstrong (author of countless best-sellers including the Women of the Otherworld series), Christine Rees (author of the Hidden Legacy), and Michele Barrow-Belisle (author of the Faerie song trilogy) on October 13th – so if you’re in the London, Ontario area, be sure to check it out! These are all some very talented ladies and it will be a wonderful time out!

Now it’s been a long time since I read Black Dawn, in fact I read it the first month it came out, and my dog destroyed my first copy which I have yet to replace, so I was unable to re-read it, but, even with not having Kiero fresh in my mind, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a prequel, and it definitely sets the stage for more adventures in future works. So, let’s dive right into my review!


Rating: 4.5 / 5

First, the prologue begins by giving you a wonderful insight into the background of two very important people in the book; Nei and Roque. I absolutely loved reading about the fiery feeling Nei felt in the beginning, and how it fueled her reign along side Roque for so many years. Their dream of peace in a world surrounded by torment was something that I believe resonates in todays society, with all the brutal shootings, war, and tension in the world, seeking peace. I can understand the desire of Roque wanting to tear away from the way of his father’s rule, and I love the fact that he stands for what he believes in, and wants to set his own path. It’s a wonderful characteristic to have.

The story dives into Emory’s life, Nei and Roque’s daughter, and her relationship with our other main characters, Brokk, Memphis, and Adair. All students at The Academy, these characters are all graced with their own abilities. From shape-shifting and basic mind control, to elemental control and invisibility, the students of The Academy were brought together to train, to harness their abilities, and learn how to wield and control them.

The Academy is graced with the presence of Tadeas and his son Marquis, the new King of the Shattered Isles, where Nei was born as daughter to the previous King whom she has just learned has been slain. Nei, quite expectedly is devastated at the loss of her father, and Roque takes the new King Tadeas’ arrival and the information he brings as a threat, and is ultimately concerned with the well-being of the Academy and the students that dwell within it.

The story continues to elaborate on a plan by one of the main character’s parents, Adair, son of Bresslin and Cesan Stratton,  to unfold a darkness on the world unlike anything ever seen before. Our antagonists have it in their sights to destroy everything both Nei and Roque have spent their lives working towards, the peace and tranquility of those with abilities living with those whom do not have them. Not knowing what his parents are planning, Adair takes it upon himself to follow the voices in his head, and seek the ancient magic long since forgotten by the world, in order to re-create the world.

It is a constant pull of light against dark, and a battle of friendship and loyalty. Renegade hits on family ties, the value of love and friendship, and what it means to embrace your destiny and who you truly are meant to be.

This book had me on the edge of my seat. The character and plot development was spot on, and the world building Mallory created sucked me right in. I could feel the icy wind through the woods, I could smell the decay on the battlefield, I could feel the warmth of the fires. I laughed, I cried, and I can’t begin to explain the countless gasps that escaped my mouth. I was completely sucked into the story, the pain and anguish Adair was experiencing, and the loyalty Emory has to her friends. The love Memphis has, and the friendship between he and Brokk is inspiring. To have a bond so close reminds me of the bond I have with my best friend of 15+ years, and their story hits me close to heart.

This book tugged at my heart-strings, and I cannot wait to get my hands on Black Dawn again (eagerly awaiting it’s arrival through the mail!) to re-read Emory’s story; to read of the fall of an empire, and the rise of queen.

I truly believe that everyone should pick up the first two books in this amazing series by an amazing Canadian author; it will not disappoint.  PLEASE, I urge you, pick up BOTH Renegade, and Black Dawn by the AMAZING Mallory McCartney from the links below! It’s such an amazing series you’ll definitely want to check out!



Thanks for tuning into my review; stay tuned for more reviews to come in the next few weeks, I have a pile of ARCs I’m working my way through and I can’t wait to share my thoughts on them with you.

May your coffee be strong, and your books be magical.

Happy reading!


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