The theme to my life recently, it seems, is being late. This released last week, gah!
I actually picked up the audio already for this, I had 20% left to go on release day and I needed to get through it quickly and I didn’t have time to physically read. The audio is pretty good, although, the first rating on audible was a 1 star. I do think this narrator could be marmite-like. She is a very expressive narrator that uses a lot of accents and tonal changes to create the characters voices. She also has a very storyteller quality to her narrations which may or may not work for you. Personally, I enjoyed it.
Anyway, this is a story about two siblings and their polar opposite roles in society. When Maya was very young she was taken away from her family by the Twighlight Order. She was constantly sick, and it was getting worse as the years progressed. The Twilight Order said they could help, but, unfortunately that also meant she couldn’t go back and visit her familt until she was done with training. ..which takes over a decade to finish. As the years went by they faded from her memory, and the Order became more like a family to her than the one she left behind. She had a mentor who I really liked and want to see more of in the next book.
Her brother, Gyre, tried to defend his sister when she was being taken. Maya was crying and screaming and didn’t want to go, so he stabbed the order member in the leg. He lost an eye for it, and he’s been bitter ever since. Bitter that his family was torn apart. Bitter about his parents subsequent deaths and depression. Bitter that there’s an organization thats above the rest, and dictates what magical items can and cant be used. As the years marched on he became a rebel leader, and a thorn in the Order’s side that they would like to eliminate.
Maya’s perspective paints the Order in a complex light, making them not the evil enemy that reading only Gyre’s POV would lead you to believe. I love when each side of a war is equally represented and neither side inherently wrong. The Order serves as a protection from dark magic, and from plaguespawn.
This is a really neat world, I love old school epic fantasies with tons of magic. I love the gross horrors of the Plaguespawn, which are monsters of a frankenstein nature…put together pieces of animals and humans to make a functional, albeit terrifying creature.
I enjoyed both Maya and Gyre, they were both relatable in their own ways, and had compelling arcs. I was waiting and waiting for them to finally meet up and it doesn’t happen until like 60% through the book. I was hoping their meeting would have held bigger consequences for their arcs, but it didn’t, yet. That could be coming in later installments.
The prose was excellent, as to be expected of Django. The pacing threw me off a bit at the end. It seemed like the story was wrapping up and setting up for the sequel and… lol it just kept going for a while. All things considered that’s not a huge problem, and I did enjoy what came later.
I recommend this to people who enjoy dual povs, sibling povs, lots of magic, old school epic fantasy, and two sides of a ‘war’. (Not a war yet, just rebellion from the lower class).
* plot: 12/15
* characters: 12.5/15
* world building: 13.5/15
* writing: 13.5/15
* pacing: 11/15
* originality: 11/15
* personal enjoyment: 8/10
Final Score: 81.5/100 or 4/5 stars on goodreads!