Author: Namoi Novik
Recommendation: Do not start this book until you have a whole day to devote to finishing it
This book was recommended to me as a fantasy romance. It is NOT. It is still a fabulous book.
It’s so amazing, I stayed up until 3am trying to finish it. I couldn’t. I barely slept as the characters danced through my dreams, and once I woke up Saturday morning, I sat down and finished it.
There’s a grown-up in me somewhere, but she hides when I sink into a book this good.
The book is intense. The author hooks you in the beginning and never once gives you a spot to put a bookmark. It’s a heck of a ride.
I love the characters. They are rich and varied. The story is told in first person, and you really get a feel for the heroine. She’s not always brave, or beautiful, or cultured. I love that. She isn’t perfect. No one in the story is.
- The prince slays a chimera, acts like an entitled jerk, and yet is still the 8 year-old-boy who lost his mother and is willing to sacrifice anything to get her back.
- The powerful wizard who can’t connect to anyone or anything.
- The best friend who was supposed to be perfect but then isn’t chosen and both resents not being chosen and is relieved she isn’t.
There is so much here it’s amazing. People are flawed, and those flaws have prices to themselves and those around them.
The only part I disliked was the some side characters I wanted to see live died. This is not a romance novel, but it’s not Game of Thrones, either.
The plot is intense. It grips you in the beginning, and what I thought was going to be the climactic rescue ends up being just another plot point about a quarter of the way through the story. Seriously intense.
But you get your ending, and it’s a good one.
Truly spectacular. This is one of the strongest points of the book, and it has so many of them. Enough of the familiar mixed with the new that she creates something fresh but still wholly relatable.
Are there any bad things about the book? The only downside for me was I was looking for a comfortable fantasy romance. Instead, I got sucked into a hard core fantasy novel with all of the sadness and pain that they’re known to inflict on their characters.
There’s a reason I’m a romance reader and writer! I like the other stuff, and this was truly spectacular, but I felt so wrung out when it was over that I decided to clean the house! You know how much I love doing that.
If true fantasy is your genre, I’d say pick it up and give it a read. Days later, the plot and characters are still teasing around in my head so much they’re making my own writing difficult. I truly loved the story. It is powerful, riveting, and moving. But it also take a lot out of you.