“Someday we will be more than words in the dark.”
I have to say that I am in agreement with most of the reviews I’ve read about this book. That up until the 75% mark, this book would have been a solid 2.5 stars. It is the last 25% that bumps this book up to 3.5 stars.
What’s it about? A small number of refugees from the kingdom of Winter are trying to reclaim their homeland from the evil Spring kingdom, who killed their queen and enslaved and brutalised all their people. But no one really knows how hard this has been on one of the young refugees, Meira, because trying to save her people is really getting in the way of Meira being Meira. Until she gets a nice hard reality check right in the face, gets over herself and becomes pretty awesome.
What did I think? I know my intro might make this book sound bad, and for the first 75% or so of the book, Meira is a whiny, although often hilarious, little brat. But it’s when she gets her reality check and starts to learn that the suffering of her people isn’t really all about Meira that this book gets really good. Mainly due to lots of action and people killing things, but also because this is really the point where I stopped feeling like everything in the book was all stuff I have read before, over and over again in numerous fantasy novels.
The world building was not as spectacular as I was expecting and there are often so many place names and different mountain ranges and chasms of magic that it gets a bit confusing, but they don’t really matter much for the overall story. The overall story was, however, completely predictable.
But this book was often quite fun to read. Even Meira being a bit of a brat wasn’t enough to make me hate her, because there was still something lovable about her. I didn’t really get her sort of romance with young future king, Mather. His described personality just really didn’t really match his actions. One minute he would be trying to beat some guy to a pulp for even looking at Meira, then Meira is saying she needs to channel his ‘calm demeanour’. Many characters were pretty two dimensional or just existed as simply a name with no personality at all.
So, yeah. There are some problems here. But somehow this book was still a really fun read for me. I read the whole thing in one sitting, so it is really easy to read. Meira’s character arc is also really good because she does get over herself. She grows and becomes a wonderful and brave warrior that really cares for her people. I will be picking up the next book in the series.
I recommend this to those who like YA fantasy. This might not impress the more hardcore epic fantasy lovers though.
I rate it 3.5 stars.