A Vivid Dark Fantasy
I have to say, this book was good, but it felt like a prologue to something bigger rather than an actual story. But then again, it’s the first book in the series, so it’s only natural, I suppose. I was slightly disappointed at the lack of action, however, as the reviews (and the blurb) I read led me to believe there’d be quite a bit of it. The sequel will most likely fix that apparently. The ending of this book leaves the reader with the vibes of an epic battle brewing on the horizon.
The protagonist (Heloise) is the kind of a character I like. She is an innocent girl in a ruthless world, who eventually stands up to the Order and the otherworldly creatures. The character growth is superb, but unfinished in this book. The side characters are vivid, and a few of them are even interesting. As for the romance, I like it, but beware; it’s not your usual romance.
The setting is splendid. It delivers the promised ruthless world. Also, the Order that’s the evil organization in this story is very generic, but intriguing. They’re partly wrong, partly right. They kill innocent ruthlessly, yes, but they’re doing it to protect the world from the otherworldly creatures that come through portals wizards summon unintentionally. It makes me wonder if Heloise’s quest to fight the Order brings the end of the world upon them, or the opposite of it. It all depends on what kind of a mindset Heloise develops in the next book and what’ll be her ultimate goal.
One more thing I want to add is that, although ruthless, the story wasn’t quite heartwrenching like Robin Hobb says. After watching Grave of the Fireflies two months ago, I find books like this very happy in the end. I suppose I’m immune to this degree of ruthlessness!
Overall, I’d say this is 4/5 if the next book delivers the stunning character growth and the epic battle with Heloise driving the war machine.