CW: death, murder, and slight ableism
I’m very conflicted about this book.
On one hand, it was a very good debut. The world completely held my interest. I found it fascinating. One land divided into four quadrants ruled by four queens. There are specific rules that must be followed. A daughter by forty-five. That daughter is raised by another family. When that queen dies, she is brought in to rule.
I mean, it’s interesting. Then, how different the quadrants are. If the book had been just that, it would have been great.
However, there were other things.
For one, I never really liked the characters. I’ll take that back, actually. I really liked the queens. The book has multiple POVs. The queens get perspectives occasionally, then another character I can’t bring up because of spoilers. However, the steady POV is Keralie, a thief with a dark past. (If that’s not a YA phrase, I don’t know what is.) I didn’t like her. Never did. She was just… flat. A Mary-Sue. There wasn’t anything going for her, honestly. I didn’t like her perspective, which was a shame.
There are some other side characters, but I never found them very interesting either. That leads me to one character in particular. He has a disease and the whole reaction just comes across as ableist. Why? Because it’s something that many people go without just fine and it’s not a big deal. It left a bad taste in my mouth and I never recovered from it. Sadly, I can’t be more specific than that because all of this is brought up late in the story. If you want more details, drop a comment and I’ll spoil it for you.
Also, the plot just wasn’t what I expected. I knew it was going to be fantasy, but then it also was sci-fi-y. I’ve started hearing more about the fantasci genre, but this is my first real run-in with it. Again, I liked it but yet I didn’t. I liked the world, but I didn’t like the story in the end.
Sam wrote a great review that gets more into this than I did. However, a lot of my feelings were the same as hers. I don’t think I’d ever come back to this book again, but it was a technically fine book. I read it in one day because I needed something light and something I could skim. This fit. It wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t for me.
Have you read this? What did you think?
What’s a fantasci book that you like?