First of all, thanks to Luke for providing me with an ARC!
From the first chapter, Luke’s passion for writing is evident from the vivid world to the saturated prose. I recommend reading slowly or you’ll miss important details as the sentences are lush yet lengthy at times – but inspiring nonetheless. You can tell he approaches his prose the same way Roshani paints her words in “A Star Touched Queen.” It is definitely an art form and one that he’s poured a lot of his soul into. On a personal level, especially in the beginning- I had a little bit of a hard time with the way the sentences were constructed and I found myself rereading some of the paragraphs a few times to get what was being said… but I appreciated the artistic approach to writing.
What really stood out aside from the prose were the characters. I’m very much a lover of characters with “big” personalities (the twins) – as well as morally gray characters. I think there were a good mix of tangled relationships in this too.. ones that kept me guessing throughout. It took a while for me to really grasp what was in Ultan’s head too- same with Morgance. I liked not really knowing until later on what was really driving them. They felt relatable and I loved their descriptions. Even with Roswen, I liked questioning her character during a good bit of the story. I think thats what really made this engaging.
The story is told from multiple POVs which was fun- though at times it had me disconnecting from characters because of the space in between returning to each. That may be an its me-not you thing- I just like to stay close to the characters I read about and sometimes jumping around causes a personal disconnect. I don’t think it would have that affect on most readers though… I find this is a trend for me in many similar books.
The world building was reminiscent of Melina Marchetta’s “Finnikin of the Rock” – so if you’re a fan of that type of book- this one will suit you quite well. Actually this whole book had Finnikin vibes.. which is definitely a good thing.
Overall, I was happy with the way things wrapped up and I’m glad I got the opportunity to read this! If you’re on the fence on whether or not to give this a try- just go for it.