by C.J. Sparrow
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Pub Date 11 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 15 Jun 2023
Tovey is running for her life.
After escaping the collective, a bowman hunts the defector as she flees into the Tenbris before accepting her soul-crushing defeat as she returns to serve the kingdom of Abolend.
Tovey hears a prophecy that King Mallum has been secretly hunting the kingdom for a demon, prophesied to wreak chaos, with eerily similar details that describe her mysterious birth.
Desperate to outrun the dark forces that may be inside of her, Tovey flees the kingdom to protect the people and herself. Prince Cullus of Abolend strikes a deal with the creature he feared his entire life—her freedom in exchange for entering an enemy kingdom to stop the final war.
"No one was more surprised than I was when I realized about 50 pages into this book that it was quickly becoming my favorite book of the year"- 5 stars, Sasha Klimchock, Reedsy Discovery
"In C. J. Sparrow’s stunning fantasy novel Tolerant, a servant subverts her culture’s oppressive values, going to great lengths to protect those she loves.
Obeying her late older sister’s command to defect rather than fail her servitude test, Tovey, who has been blindfolded since infancy to signify humility and subjugation, escapes her collective. A near capture and a hasty lie land her a servant position at the king’s residence. Circulating rumors of a prophecy involving a girl with purple eyes who will overturn the social hierarchy come to a head when Tovey reveals her glowing amethyst eyes to the prince, preventing the precautionary slaughter of others who fit the prophecy’s bill. With the stubborn Prince Cullus at her side, Tovey runs off to stop a war before it starts in defiance of the prophecy. But as she sees more of her world, she also learns the importance of sacrifice, the meaning of friendship and family, and the dangers of loyalty.
Despite her oppressive upbringing, Tovey values fealty and nonviolence. She has internalized a bias against servant defectors. Her sister’s ghost is her moral compass, demanding obedience to the crown even as her small rebellions—sneaking bites of her masters’ discarded pastries, telling lies to protect fellow servants from punishment—show her understanding of the unjust inequalities that pervade her world.
Tovey and Cullus are principled, fallible heroes. Their aligned objective of preventing war deepens their kinship and sparks a romance, and their disparate life experiences and shifting views of their society’s malfeasance generate explosive tension. As the pair explores both friendly and enemy territory, Tovey’s innate magic emerges. The suspense escalates through to the perception-altering conclusion that begs for a sequel.
In the fantasy novel Tolerant, an unlikely duo is propelled toward an enlightened rebellion."
Aimee Jodoin, Foreword Magazine
- Foreword Magazine selected Tolerant to be featured in their March/April 2020 catalogue
- Tolerant has 100 free Kindle Copies being given away on Goodreads in April to celebrate the launch
- Bookbub is featuring Tolerant in the Young Adult section on launch day (April 11th, 2023)
- Bargain Booksy is featuring Tolerant on launch day (April 11th, 2023) as the Fantasy / Paranormal Deal of the Day
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 27 members
C.J. Sparrow has a great writing style, I was invested in what was going on in this world. It had a great fantasy element going on and was what I was looking for from the description. The characters worked in this world and I loved the way it was written. I'm excited to read more from C.J. Sparrow.
"We should see the city by sundown.” His tone was solemn as he rolled the map, tucking it into the satchel. “We’ve moved quickly. Frilliam has been resilient, and we have only been pausing at night. I wasn’t expecting us to be here so soon.” His skin drained of all color. “Are you nervous?”
I really enjoyed this book!
First of all, Tovey is such a lovely character. I can’t really relate to her in the sense that she’s the subject of an ancient prophecy, but I understand her in many other ways. Tovey is not perfect, she’s not like the typical fantasy heroines that just seem to be incapable of doing much wrong. Instead, she makes mistakes, and stupid decisions, and she’s hard on herself— and I really admired seeing that in a strong female protagonist. I didn’t have a hard time connecting with her character because ultimately, she’s just doing her best! and it’s really hard not to admire her for it.
The story itself kept me so engaged throughout. Although there are some intense themes, it’s not a super heavy read. Basically, it offered a good sense of escapism, as the best fantasy books do. I found myself itching to read it at any chance I got. There were plenty of surprises and “what’s gonna happen next?” moments to be had, and it was fun to read it and wonder which turn the plot was going to take. That being said, I will absolutely be getting my hands on the next book in this series. I’m invested now.
There is also a romance subplot, which I really enjoy (even though I think Tovey deserves better)!!!
Overall, this was a really fun read. Also, the cover of this book is so nice.
I absolutely loved this book! I I instantly fell in love with the world and characters! It definitely exceeded my expectations!
I really enjoyed this book! I flew through it on one afternoon and I am so sad that it's over. The author did a great job with the plot and keeping the story moving with no stagnant parts. The characters were very relatable and fun to learn. Great read!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this novel. Excellent story.
I enjoyed reading Tolerant. Anyone who is a fan of the Throne of Glass series will probably get along great with this book. They have a very similar vibe of magic being taboo and the brutality of class wars.
The world in which the story takes place is truly brutal in a horrific way. I would advise the reader to look into the trigger warnings and to be wary if you have a weak stomach. The poor are shuttled into different "collectives" where they are beaten and terrorized into believe they are weaker than the high borns and they were born into the world to do nothing but serve their betters. The trainers in collectives are encouraged to give them "impairments". Which is a lovely way of saying please cut off body parts, take out eyes, slash their faces to teach them a lesson.
The main character Tovey was given to a collective with her older sister when she was a baby because there were people hunting after her (unbeknownst to Tovey).. She grew up wearing a blindfold as an impairment .Although in her case, it was protection so the magic hating community can't see her strange purple eyes. After escaping the collective and pretending to be a different sister, Tovey begins serving at the royal palace. While serving the Crown Prince, she finds out that her purple eyes mark her as a girl who is prophesized to be a demon who brings about the final war of the realm. She teams up with the Crown Prince and journey's to a far off land of magic wielders to stop the war before it starts.
I thought this book was great. The world building was truly immersive. I often times could close my eyes and feel the collective when Tovey was describing it. I appreciated that I was kept guessing the whole time. I did not at any point know what was going to happen between Tovey and the Prince until it was over. It certainly was a page turner. I felt it ended well enough that I wasn't completely pissed that I have to wait, but I will absolutely follow this series through to completion. There are questions I have, that I WANT ANSWERED lol.
ARC from NetGalley
This book kept me on my toes the entire time! I honestly could never tell what Tovey was going to do next! 😂
The fantasy world described in this book is not all sunshine and roses, and is particularly dark at times!
Tovey’s journey did however give me the level of escapism I needed, I’m also a massive fan of any enemies to lovers and an MCs journey into uncovering the secrets in the world around her!
The end of the story was all twists and turns, the majority of which I did not see coming and I can’t wait for the next book.