I was so excited to read this book and yet still it took me forever because I am just so crunched for time since I’m moving soon. My apologies for being late on the review!
I adore this series. I love Lin. I love Jovis. I love their weird relationship that never seems to sit on solid ground. I love Mephi and Thrana. I was never all that warm to Nisong, and in this book that feeling became more pronounced as she kind of slipped further and further into villainy. To get what she wanted she had to sacrifice her friends, and although it hurts her she continues to do it. It’s kind of tragic since those around her who are dying are sympathetic characters and I was hoping the best for them despite not liking Nisong. Her point of view was always fascinating if not always all that relatable.
There were various strategies that Lin tried to use on the governors of each island to try and gain their support. I found it to be well thought out and tailored to the individual needs of the island and governor which fleshed out the world building considerably. Each person had their own needs, wants, and weak spots. Lin was able to use those to her advantage without being a total dick about it. Lin means well, she’s genuine in her concern for everyone in her kingdom regardless of their warmth towards her. While sympathizing with Lin, at the same time I understand these governors hesitancies and reluctance to follow her rule after how terrible her father had been.
Jovis’ allegiances are tested to the max in this book. It’s a hard thing to try and protect ones family, financial interests, and be loyal to an emperor you barely know. He’s being forcefully recruited by multiple factions and he has to dance on a tightrope to make it all work, and spoiler alert: it doesn’t always work.
I loved the relationship between Lin/Thrana, and Jovis/Mephi. They are by far some of my favorite animal companions in any book — and we get to see more of them in this book! More creatures like Mephi and Thrana are bonding with people, more islands are sinking, more magic is being discovered, more background to the Alanga is being revealed. I absolutely loved everything.
- Plot: 13/15
- Characters: 14/15
- World Building: 14/15
- Writing: 13/15
- Pacing: 13/15
- Originality: 14/15
- Enjoyment: 9/10
Final Score: 90/100