Kay Hidden Shelf’s Spoiler-Free Review of Four-Scored by Andrew D. Meredith
Expected Publication: 4 April 2023
Author: Andrew D. Meredith
Series: Book 2 in Needle and Leaf (see our review for Book 1 here)
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Rating: 4 Stars
Jovan made his deal, ensuring Leaf would have a normal life. But Leaf is anything but normal, and the magic pouring from him draws the attention of a sinister vedmak coven, bent on increasing their power. Jovan’s rage, long hidden in his carefully curated calm, reawakens with each threat to Leaf’s life – but now his Rage has a voice. Amidst a harvest of new friends, and rumors of war, Four-Scored is a rich tale of found family and the road that binds travelers together.
Four-Scored is the second book in the Needle and Leaf series.
Review of Four-Scored
Jovan and Leaf’s journey continues in this epic sequel. Filled with heart, discovery and intrigue, Andrew D. Meredith weaves a compelling story.
When Leaf becomes the focus of a dangerous secret society of vedmak, who would use his power for their own, Jovan will do everything he can to protect his son. With a land on the brink of war, vedmak on their heels, and mythical beings hell bent on destruction, safety won’t come easily.
Four-Scored picks up thirteen months after the end of Thrice. This was a captivating read with such eloquent storytelling that I flew through the pages. Jovan and Leaf have become my favourite father/son relationship in fantasy. Their love is evident throughout the story, and I appreciated the small details that help build their relationship further.
The worldbuilding felt seamless with the story and explores more of the world’s history, lore, religions, and magic. Seeing more of the magic system added a layer of depth that I wasn’t anticipating, leaving me reeling with the discoveries. Another reason this stood out for me was that the magic system is developed not only through engaging action scenes but also in the characters developments.
Speaking of characters, the cast continues to grow with the return of some familiar faces from book one, Thrice. As a result, the main characters travel and relationships become more complex. I was also surprised by how much development we see for one of the characters. The new potential for their character arc left me wanting more.
The pacing shifted from medium to fast. The first half of the story felt episodic, whereas the second half comes together to bring the plot to a head. All this mixed with the events throughout the story and Andrew D. Meredith’s writing, Four-Scored is a quick read that was hard to put down.
An immersive sequel with plenty of magic, a bit of romance, great action, gut punching moments, found family, high stakes, and mythical creatures set in a fantasy world inspired by Slavic folklore.
Four-Scored sets up for book 3 in the Needle and Leaf series and I look forward to finding out what happens next.