Written on Jan 25, 2020
"Learn how to use this knife, and I'll make you into something."The opening of the book is honestly amazing and gripped my attention immediately with the tension and danger. I really was hooked with the premise, but (at least for the eARC) the writing was less tight and action-packed as the opening chapters. Unfortunately, I found myself losing interest the more of the book that I read... which is honestly a really strange experience.
A lot of attention is paid to the setting, the world, and the main character's journey between places. I thrive on worldbuilding, but I think the latter is a big reason that I became bored and disconnected from the story. I also found the history and backstory aspect of the worldbuilding to be a little repetitive.
Where this book shines is with the characters. Aina and her dogged pursuit of her ambitions, Teo and his unrelenting support of his friend, Ryuu. I do really enjoy the friendship between Aina and Teo, and the characters are all really loveable in their own ways. Flores does a good job of creating fully-fledged characters in the story, and let's be real: I will never tire of unlikely alliances and ragtag groups of misfits! Ryuu might be my favorite character in this one, with Teo and his protective, ride-or-die friendship with Aina being a close second.
"She would be the one everyone feared, the girl who made politicians, slaves, gang bosses, and mercenaries tremble. She would be the Blood King's equal. And one day, she would rank even higher than him."The book was fine and an interesting fantasy debut. I think that Flores will be an author to watch as she hones her craft, as I think a lot of the narrative stumbles that hampered my reading experience are "debut mistakes."
Initial thoughts: Interesting story but one where my interest waned as the book continued.
Thank you to the publisher for providing me an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. Quotations are taken from an unfinished proof and are subject to change upon final publication.
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