My Rating: 2 of 5 stars
Unfortunately this one really didn’t hit it for me. I was so excited going in, and to be honest, I really liked the first few chapters. The synopsis sold me right off the bat. I WANTED TO LIKE IT SO BAD.
Then things got frustrating. VERY frustrating.
First of all, there are SO many characters and different kingdoms/empires to keep track of. I think by about the 30% point, I figured out the general idea, but my gosh, it was a headache until then. There’s this crown prince, that crown prince, this delegate, that delegate. I don’t even know. Hey, I’m all about a book that focuses on politics between kingdoms/etc (heck, I’m writing one myself) but this was just too much which such little pay off. I don’t mind diving deep into a world if you end up getting to explore all of it, but there was SO MUCH unnecessary information about places we don’t even see and people we don’t meet.
Secondly, gah I liked the heroine at first. I really did. But as the book progressed, we are constantly forced into her every thought and she goes back and forth on how she feels EVERY OTHER PAGE. Aalskdfj;dfj. One minute, she’s scared to go home. The next, she’s like ‘oh, this is fine.’ The next, ‘oh my gosh i don’t want to meet my dad’ and the next ‘oh hi dad, we’re chill’. I am so confused by her. This happens throughout the entire book. If her inner monologue was removed, this would have been a much better book. We, as readers, really don’t need to know THAT much. Plus, her actions and thoughts did not line up at all.
Okay, okay… whatever. I was holding out hope because the magic seemed cool. Land magic where you compel the earth to do crap? Sure. Why not. Especially in a world that feels like the late 1700-early 1800s where there are guns/etc as weapons, I thought it was creative to have the magic be ‘getting back to the roots’ blah blah.
The heroine ‘weds the land’??? SHE WEDS THE LAND. What even does that mean? I read the book and I still don’t know. I can tell you this… I am THOROUGHLY creeped out. What even. Like she legit lays in the dirt with a guy and that is called ‘wedding the land.’
I sincerely hope I just misunderstood but ew.
Anyway, back to the plot – Elena is basically kidnapped as a child and brought to this kingdom and brainwashed about her previous family. Blah blah happens, she’s framed for the death of the king who kidnapped her, and her family whatever people finds her and brings her back ‘home’ except she doesn’t want to go. Okay, not bad. But after she gets home, it’s 90% politics and traveling and whatnot. The pacing isn’t bad, exactly, but I just got so lost in the sea of characters and inner monologue that I stopped caring.
Alright, I feel like this has been nothing but a ranty review. I will say this – the writing was pretty and the author certainly has a big imagination. Her world felt grounded, even if I couldn’t keep up with it, and there’s definitely not another book out there (that I’ve read) like this one. Unfortunately it was just a headache for me.
Thank you to the publishers for providing me with an arc!