Hey guys, the parrot is here again. I am going to try out a new system of reviewing beginning with the series so I hope you like it and let me know if you don’t. I appreciate your honesty in advance even though I might cry if you don’t *winks*.
First and foremost, I think you need my own version of the book’s synopsis so here it goes.
Once upon a time there was a kingdom flowing with goodies and gold while all the other kingdoms around it suffered from either starvation or climate imbalance. In this kingdom, there lived a stubborn princess who loved to be free but even freedom has its costs and in this case, a boy’s life was lost.
The Book: This book was one of the most confusing books I have ever read and honestly, that had nothing to do with the story-line; it was more like I had nothing to focus on and there was too much going on for me to zero in on one aspect or one character in the book. I get that it was more like an ensemble but I also felt like there wasn’t enough overlap until the very end of the book. This first installment was more like an introduction for the other books to shine and us to get to know their background histories so we don’t wonder in the other books. So if you are not okay with background stories just skim through and move on to the next book.
The Plot: A world on the brink of collapse was pushed to a breaking point by a single act of cowardice. That is a story I would get behind anytime because it would involve alliances being made, betrayal and so much more but it came as a surprise to me that the book didn’t seem that intriguing and even though a sorceress was mentioned, her role in the book seemed a little downplayed given that the book began with her kidnapping. Apart from appearing as one of the members of the Limerian royal family and occasional mentions of magic and her blow-out incident, I didn’t really see much more.
The Characters and World-building: Morgan Rhodes’s idea of what each country should look like is a bit on the abstract side and even though you are told that Auranos is beautiful and very cool to live in, we are not exactly sure how to picture it or Limeros is a cold and desolate region where its people are plain and not extravagant like its counterpart or Paelsia is a land suffering from not only starvation but also other ailments but have beautiful vineyards.
Magnus: The arrogant Limerian prince who was always looking for ways to live up to or impress his murderous and evil father and also was in love with his sister *gross*. Magnus is described as a boy who was at the mercy of his father and had never really being loved by anyone including his parents then found love with the only person who was remotely nice to him even though she had no idea how he felt. His character was properly developed and had a sense of awe to it but still I wasn’t really given a chance to get to know him better in this book or let me rephrase, I would have loved to see more of who he was so I could love him.
Cleo: A wild, impressionist and stubborn Auranian princess whose only goal in life was to have as much fun as possible then her life was turned upside down when a friend of hers killed a boy on their wine finding trip to a country that hated their guts and as if that was not bad enough, she had to find out that her sister was not well and the only way to save her was to travel back into Paelsia to find an exiled Watchers *a race of immortal magical beings who observe the lives of humans and guard the elementals* I loved her character the most has she was given more attention in the book so we got to see what made her so special and why she deserved every affection you might have for her.
Lucia: A sorceress who was kidnapped at birth and adopted into the Limerian royal family so that the king could harness her powers when the time was right for him to invade his neighbors. I feel like her life was the least interesting in the book so I really have nothing to say about her.
Jonas: The brother of the murdered boy who wanted revenge so badly that he was willing to jump through the kind of hops he would never have. His character’s reaction and reasoning were rather justified and his role was important enough to allow for more face time so naturally, you fall for him and hope he falls in love with Cleo.
What to expect? Expect to be confused in the beginning and part of the middle then you start to unravel as the book ends and your imagination about Magnus is not nearly as cool and daring as mine.
P.S: I love the book nonetheless