You are an ember in the ashes, and you will burn.
Let’s begin by saying I wasn’t as blown away by this book as I should’ve. It’s easy to get so pumped up about it because of the overwhelming praises printed on its dust jacket. And indeed, I was, although it was more of a quiet kind of unexpected pleasure.
Prose-wise, I wasn’t impressed with it. I don’t know why, but first person narratives, especially in a fantasy setting, don’t really work for me. It doesn’t give me an encompassing view if the world, which I believe is one of the most important aspects when it comes to fantasy. Actually, I have a lot to say about this so I’m saving it for another post. I did love the jinn mythology sprinkled in the book and I was pleasantly surprised at its role in the story. One thing’s for sure, I’m expecting more of it in the next book.
Anyway, regardless of the un-compelling writing, I actually found myself glued to the book for the whole two days I was reading it. I was so engrossed in the characters’ lives – their joys and sorrows, and the things they did to overcome the obstacles that came their way. Laia, whom I disliked in the beginning, turned out to be quite the little fighter in the end, even though she still has another book to prove it, or I might rescind the statement. Elias, whom I thought to be a typical manic pixie dream boy, to both Laia and Helene, has yet to redeem himself of this judgement but I think that he’ll actually do quite well. Helene, however, was my favorite character by far. She defied all the stereotypes set by most YA novels of the tough tomboyish girl. She was tough, but she had the capacity to laugh and joke with her friends, and yes, I had seen from miles away that she was in love with Elias, but she kept her feelings in check and put her principles – her loyalty to the Empire – before them. Unlike other “strong female characters” out there who drop everything that makes them who they are whenever a brooding new love interest comes waltzing by. And when she realized that her feelings will never be reciprocated, she still tried to help Elias succeed without compromise because she was his friend first.
The plot wasn’t very complex and I found myself guessing correctly what the mysteries are. Not that I’m undermining the author though, maybe I’m just THAT good. LOL. Just kidding.
So yes, I did love the characters in the book and I am very excited to read the next ones, if not for Elias and Laia, I’m waiting for my girl Helene to take the spotlight and earn her keep.
You are an ember in the ashes, and you will definitely burn.
Rating: 4 stars
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