So off the bat I’ll say this book gets a solid three (3) stars from me. It was a really nice, fun fantasy with a really unique magic system that I’d never seen before. And one that with the worldbuilding involved made me a little squeamish. Which, let’s be real, is perfect for this time of year.
some of the strengths in the tory are the magic system and the way that there is queerness on the page and no one bats an eye. We’ve got a lesbian couple and it’s great. I will say that it isn’t exactly healthy due to the power dynamics (is is a person of political import and the other is poor and ends up working with the rebellion).
There area few points of view we follow. The emperor’s daughter, Lin, a smuggler named Jovis and a few others. Although not all of them are written from first person POV.
It was a little disarming to jump from one point of view to the other sometimes but it wasn’t the worst thing. It just took a few seconds for the change to make sense.
Now, while the worldbuilding was interesting and the magic system was really unique, I could sort of see where the story was going. And when it got there, and I was right, I guess I was a little disappointed in how it had been done. And that was because of the characters.
There area few characters who make some really massive personal revelations during the story and just don’t react. Like at all. And then, when they finally DO it just feels flat to me. I don’t know why the author chose to speed over the emotional aspect of what these characters would have been feeling. It made them seem really flat and disinterested in their own lives.
The characters were also a little flat. I didn’t feel particularly interested in them after a while except maybe Jovis. After Lin had some big things come to light and just didn’t react I sort of fell off when it came to her.
I think my biggest complaint with this book was the writing. It was good throughout the first seventy-five percent of the book. But when the third act rolled around, it sort of lost me. It wasn’t as engaging or as, in my opinion, good, as the rest of it had been.
There’s a massive fight at the end of the book and reading it, I couldn’t tell who was doing what or what was going on. And that’s what really bugs me. I couldn’t actually “see” who was doing what. Especially because of the way the magic in this book works, more description could have been used to make it easier to follow and paint a better picture.
I am still interested enough to read the second book in the series. And thanks to Netgalley I’ll have my chance so look out for that review sometime late this month or next month.