TJ Burns — August 25, 2016
Oh, wow! Several tons of excitement, barrels of action, a drop of romance, and a splash of wit – this book has everything I love!
I have to admit that I needed to read the first section twice to get into the groove of the story telling and flash-backs – it helped that I wasn’t so tired the second time, because our narrator/poet/story-teller has an amusing style, dropping clever comments here and there that can easily be overlooked.
I was fascinated by the parallels of the flashbacks mixed with the narrative at the beginning, the flashbacks occurring earlier the same night, comparing sex and murder and the passions involved.
The flashbacks throughout give the story some perspective. And the information dropping at the end of each chapter in the form of footnotes (presumably printed years/decades/centuries later) is an interesting and effective method of cluing the reader in.
I developed a sympathy for Mia right from the start. If the poet is to be believed, I knew that I would likely lose my sympathy for her as the story progressed, but initially, I certainly had it. “O, cue the swelling violiiiiiiiiiins!”
Ash is a character. She genuinely wants to be Mia’s friend. And Tric. Ah, there are no words for Tric. He is a true friend and a real hero.
The cardinal who had his cardinal father executed for saying “the brightest light” instead of “bright light” gives us a feel for how ridiculous the theocracy is in Itreya. I, for one, was ready from the start to have our anti-hero (if the poet is to be believed) overthrow the Republic.
Questions kept mounting throughout the entire story – in a good way. These were questions that I was willing to keep reading late into the night and start reading again first thing when I woke up to get answers for.
I didn’t know this book was part of a trilogy, so I’m a tad disappointed that I didn’t get all the answers I sought. The story did have an exciting climax, though, and wasn’t a cliffhanger, so that’s a huge plus.
I still hope Mia will be involved in bringing down both the Sun Church and the Red Church (and maybe introduce a more democratic system? Ahhh, I’m clearly too much of a Renaissance woman 😉 ). I have no sympathy for either theocracies or cults. I am such an idealist. “O, cue the swelling violiiiiiiiiiins!”
The writing is amazing — intelligent, witty, suspenseful, and extremely creative. The plot is well thought out and well delivered. The characters are interesting, distinct, well-developed – I feel like I know them, know who they are and what their motivations are.
I will definitely read the next installment as soon as I can get my grubby little hands on an advanced copy… (hint, hint, Jay – I’ll send you my email in a PM).
I loved it! 4.5 stars (I’m taking off half a star for all my unanswered questions – if you answer them, Jay, you can earn your half-star back). See my unanswered questions and plot wrap-up in my Goodreads Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1671214175.
Wow! What an adrenaline rush!
I received a copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press and Thomas Dunne Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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