What is it?
Who wrote it?
What did I like?
It’s going to be hard to find something I didn’t like about this one. The characters are well developed, the cultures are beautifully designed, the descriptive tone is rich, the story is engaging—this was just a really fun read. And it feels fresh. It’s one of those fantasy novels that can probably have a lot of symbolism in it if you want to dig deep, but I don’t think it was intended to be allegory, unlike the Blood of Kings Trilogy. This was also easy to read, not complex like Jordan or Goodkind but not overly simplistic like a children’s fairy tale. It was a great balance of story, character, setting, and voice. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.
What didn’t I like?
The main character’s name is Lia Cook, and she’s a typical 13-year-old girl. So she tends to whine a lot, and that always gets on my nerves. So at times, she is a difficult character to root for. But she proved herself to me by the end. Additionally, to help establish some of the culture of the world, the author chose to include excerpts on the world in between chapters. At first, it was a little distracting, but by the end, they became important to understanding what happens in the chapters.
Should you read it?
If you enjoy medieval novels and Harry Potter, you’ll love this book. One of the characters is very much Dumbledore-ish, and if you think of the basic plot structure (the hero infant left alive while the rest of the chosen family is slaughtered) it shares a lot of similarities with the Harry Potter series. But it’s set in medieval times, the protagonist is female, and there’s a hearty helping of political factors involved too, which always make feudal stories fascinating. It actually made me think of another book I read recently, Afton of Margate Castle by Angela Hunt, combined with one of the Harry Potter books. It’s just really a very enjoyable read, and I do recommend it.