Two women, fed up with the corrupt regime, set out on an adventure to unseat the Sachem by kidnapping his wife and installing someone to spy on him. Annilasia takes the Sachem’s wife, Jalice, on a wild journey to confront the evil that plagues their land, but things do not go according to plan!
First blush: I really enjoyed this book and am very glad that I had a chance to review it. I’ll be pre-ordering a print copy, great cover and fun book that needs to be on my shelf.
I firmly believe there is a fine line between detail and believability. This book is very detailed, but it just edges over to unbelievable, even in a world with alternate realms, magic. It’s a delicate balance that is almost achieved here. This doesn’t detract from the book, it’s still fabulous, just a little too complicated at some points in the story. I certainly do think that with more novels in this series, this view will not apply as much.
That said, the pacing is tremendous! The harrowing journey, action, and quick dialogue drive the story forward at a clip that was honestly surprising. I finished the book and couldn’t believe it was over because it felt like I’d just picked the book up. Another strength here is the narrative and plot. There are some people who play video games, not so much for the mechanics, but for the story. This is a book that thrives on it’s lore and worldbuilding. It’s a masterfully done show not tell building of the world of the story and I was left wanting so, so much more! I love that I was dropped into a world that I had to learn about through the interactions with the culture that the characters had. It made this even more of an intellectual journey, something I really cherish here.
The character interactions were very interesting, given that Annilasia and Delilee hatch a plan to kidnap a woman with which neither of them were familiar. I felt really, like other reviewers did, that this wasn’t a book in which I had to like the main characters. I didn’t need to like them, but I needed to follow them, almost like I’m watching this story unfold from behind glass. But, it isn’t a bad thing! I’m glad it wasn’t a point that I had to like the characters, I’ve read too many novels where the main character wasn’t relatable, but it felt like the author was forcing me to like them. This wasn’t that novel.
I did notice that other reviews noted that they felt as if they were just scratching the surface of this world. I wholeheartedly agree, but I view that as a good thing. That means there is more to learn, more books to read, and more world to explore!
I really did enjoy this book and I can’t wait for the next installment!
Thank you to BookSirens and Jesse Nolan Bailey for the opportunity to provide an honest review in exchange for a galley copy of this title!