When I started looking at the reviews for this book when I started listening to it, I was mainly confronted with two-star reviews. That got me a bit worried since this is such a long book — whether listening or reading — and it meant that by the time I’d decide it’s not for me, I’d still have had to go through a lot of the book. For me, it definitely wasn’t a two-star read. In some ways, it reminded me of Locke Lamora combined with Avatar.
The story is focused on two main invasions, one of bone giants and the other of giants from the same continent. It’s being retold to people who know the events but done through unique perspectives and in a very different way that I enjoyed. And it’s super hard to explain it without getting into more details of the story.
In this world, there are kennings, something I translate as abilities. They’re a lot like Avatar. There are people who can work with wind, water, fire, plants, and the earth itself. Really, there are five kennings, but there are perhaps seven that could be discovered. That’s another part of the book. And, one ability — I don’t believe it was a real kenning — is being a bard. They can take on the form of someone else, although only through illusion, and that’s how this story is told.
Personally, I really enjoyed it. I found the world interesting and I wanted to know more about it even as things were explained to me. It didn’t feel as if it dragged on even though it was a long book. Although, that could be because I was listening to it and, since I was at work, spaced some things out.
The writing and characters were also great. This is my first book by the author, so I was very impressed by what he presented. There were also gay characters included in the world and it was made to seem as if this was generally accepted, although could differ per place. It was a very involved world and you had to pay attention to keep with what was going on because Hearne definitely doesn’t slow down for you.
All I can say is that this was a very strong beginning and I’m going to keep on with the series.