Description Summary | An engaging fantasy adventure that proves to be a page turner of unique twists, gods and goddesses, and a balanced magic system.
Book Summary | (Skip to Review)
Larkin is an outcast and outlaw in her own country. Discriminated for who she is and what she possesses of magic, Larkin and those like her are able to siphon emotions to either conjure or destroy.
When mysterious and sudden explosions and disappearances happen across the country, a dark evil in the name of Kyran is said to be behind it. But Kyran is a myth; a fairytale woven by the historians of this country to scare Larkin and her people into submission and fear. For in the end, Kyran and his magically gifted people fell. And the rest is history.
Queen Melay decides to group together eight individuals, all outcasts in one way or another, to be her last solution and salvation. Thus Larkin is whisked away into caves of horrors and into the depths of her worst nightmares. Amidst this however, she finds solace in Amias. A quiet boy with an infamous past, and together in this surrounding darkness they venture to find the light.
I think I’m in the minority in this one. Contrary to the mixed reviews on Goodreads, I actually quite liked it. I found the story to be really engaging and was engrossed into the book from the get go. The promoters did make a mistake when comparing this to Six of Crows; it’s nothing like it. And that comparison I feel has let down many people.
I understand hiding elements and information from the reader so as to not “lay down all your cards” and have your reader anticipate everything but I do agree that Harian did gloss over some critical parts and that if she took her time to write them descriptively it would have changed so many things.
The idea of siphoning magic out of people’s emotions and either using them to conjure or destroy is stellar. I feel so many twists and ideas can be formed with that concept, that maybe Harian could’ve explored more off.
To me this wasn’t boring at all, I keep turning page after page desperately wanting to find out what happens next! However I do feel the end part of the book was rushed and that some events in the books just “happened”, no build up or clear reasoning behind it. Why did these 8 people were chosen? What happened to the other gods and goddesses? These are examples of questions I wished she would’ve took her time to answer in more detail.
I liked how dark and creepy it got (Think Attack on Titans creepy). This book has lot of fleshy gore so you’re not comfortable with that definitely skip this one.
I loved the writing style, I never felt that mythology in the book was spelt out for us like other readers thought. Again no boredom with her writing!
This is a critical point where I think Harian hit the target with some but the others..not so much. I wish she fleshed out the secondary characters more, because I couldn’t quite care of them as much as I did to our main MC Larkin and her love interest Amias.
Larkin and Amias had a dynamic chemistry that I liked. I also liked how they did not “magically fall in love” in a dark cave and rather it is implied that this is a slow burn.
Amias in particular is intriguing. Instead of having the usual trope of the bad boy being consumed by his darkness (Like The Darkling and Kaz from Grishaverse, Adarlan King in TOG, and Kell from ADSOM), Amias rejects the darkness completely due to fear and trauma. I’ve never seen someone genuinely scared of their darkness to the point that thinking about their darker selfs unleashes a sense of cold dread.
I only wish we could get a prequel from Harian detailing the events before the book, how did the gods and goddesses come about to have their power? What lead to their demise? How is then the magic system was put into place?
Do I recommend? Despite everything, I actually enjoyed this. So yes if you’re looking for a quick gory adventure!