Genre: Fantasy, Adult
Publication Date: October 27th 2018
Trigger Warning: Child abuse, gore, death of child
My Rating: 4/5
Lidan Tolak is the fiercest of her father’s daughters; more than capable of one day leading her clan. But caught between her warring parents, Lidan’s world begins to unravel when another of her father’s wives falls pregnant. Before she has time to consider the threat of a brother, a bloody swathe is cut through the heart of the clan and Lidan must fight, not only to prove her worth, but simply to survive.
Ranoth Olseta wants nothing more than to be a worthy successor to his father’s throne. When his home is threatened by the aggressive Woaden Empire, Ran becomes his city’s saviour, but powers within him are revealed by the enemy and he is condemned to death. Confused and betrayed, Ran is forced to flee his homeland, vowing to reclaim what he has lost, even if it kills him.
Facing an unknown future, and battling forces both familiar and foreign, can Lidan and Ran overcome the odds threatening to drag them into inescapable darkness?
Goodreads link: here
In August, I read 3 self-published books, one I DNFed, the other was a 2.5 starts, so when I went into this one I didn’t have high expectations. And I was nicely surprised!
Things I liked:
- The story is very well written. At no point did I thought that it needed one more round of editing or did I caught myself thinking that it felt self-published. No. I really could tell the difference between this book and any other well known traditionally published fantasy book.
- The writing was so immersive in place that kept me at the edge of my seat. To give you a good example at the beginning of the book the authors describe how one of the two main characters encounters a ghost. I kid you not at that point my fiance entered the room and I jumped!
- I thought the secondary character especially Lidan mother and father were well developed.
- The world-building is done in a natural way. There is no info dumping and you get the information that you need when you need them. There is a mystery about the world and those creatures that create a very nice and eerie atmosphere. We know the right amount to make us want more and keep reading to find more about what is going on.
- The book ended on was a little predictable but really good and heartbreaking. It does make you want to grasp the next book straight away.
Things I didn’t like:
- It’s a character-driven story, and it took me a while to realise that which mean that for most of the book a was looking for the plot and main goal, but there was none. Throughout out the book, you follow Lidan in her family drama as her mother tries to find a way to keep Lidan as the heir of her father, and Lidan on her side does things to prove her father she is worthy of being his heir even if she is not a boy. For Ran, you have a little more, but again you just follow him as he accidentally acquires magic and flees his father how is now trying to execute him because of his magic.
- Weirdly enough despite the side character having very well-defined personalities, the two main characters felt a little bland. So it’s a little bit hard to explain because Ran and Lidan (who I kept reading as Linda because of dyslexia) are doing a lot in the story but something was missing from their personality… I wanted more from them.
- So far there is no connection between the story of Ran and Lidan. It was like reading two books separate book that just happen to be in the same world. I’m sure that will change, but I kept reading to see where all that comes together and this never happened, so I was left a little disappointed.
Overall, even if this was a character-driven story and that bothered me a little (I like knowing what is the end goal or at least have an idea), I think it was a really good first book, and it lays the groundwork for an intense and hopefully amazing second book. Will definitely add the second book to my TBR and get to it as soon as possible.
What about you guys? Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments!