I got the first 25 pages of this book from bookishfirst.com and this is my first impression
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: Jan 07 2020
Sample Pages: 25p
My First Impression Rating:
Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.
When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.
She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge―and her Condesa.
This is a fantasy story inspired by Bolivian politics and history and it is visible from the first page. The author uses Spanish words are refers to object and food I’m guessing are Bolivian and/or Bolivian inspired which I really liked.
We magic, although we don’t get to see much of it within 25 pages, was beautiful and interesting. It doesn’t look like the magic has strick rule or consequences but it leans more towards the dreamy and beautiful visual.
By the end of that sample, we do get an idea of the world and probably where the story is going and it does leave you on a cliff hanger which made me wonder what will happen.
Unfortunately, the start of the story felt a little like an info dump. We get a lot of information about many characters as well as some bits of history and the magic.
We story is told in first-person POV in present tense (really not my favourite), and maybe it’s because of that but it felt like we were spending too much time in our main character head. We get told over and over again how angry she is to not be able to be herself. We also get the info about another character, and we get told over and over how great and powerful this character is, and how she constantly saves everyone. I do realise that at that point it is difficult to show us that that character is amazing, especially since they are not even present in the scene but… I don’t like being told stuff, especially not multiple times. If a character is great you can tell me one if needed but don’t keep hammering me with that fact.
After those 25 pages, I have mixed feelings. I do believe that the book has a lot of potentials and hopefully, some of the complaints are just because this was just the start of the book.