(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I found myself quite enjoying reading this book. The novella at the beginning wasn’t really long, but I felt it was a good introduction to the world and the characters. I did feel sorry for Leena in the first story. She was quite naive, but I felt that made sense with her upbringing.
Leena’s country was also particularly vicious. I noticed there was a contrast between the two main kingdoms. I felt the author did a really good job of showing the different cultures in the kingdoms… and also how different Jinji’s people were in comparison to the rest of the world.
I did like Jinji and Rhen as characters. It was good that the author stuck to limited third person, because it wasn’t so confusing to read. I really liked their interactions and although I felt like parts of the story were glossed over, I did feel that the important parts were handled well.
It was interesting to see Rhen’s decision to be a spymaster and how his reputation was so at odds with his personality. I was quite sad to see his relationship with his family, though. Bad childhoods seem to happen a lot in fantasy…
I liked the contrast in the different powers Rhen and Jinji had. I also felt that the traumatic events each had gone through were handled really well. It was also good to see Jinji, at least, interact with Leena from the previous story.
There weren’t a lot of minor characters who appeared and were named, but the ones who were came across as really interesting and well-rounded. I especially liked getting glimpses of Rhen’s relationship with the Captain of the ship he and Jinji were on.
I did feel that the author did a good job of keeping to the knowledge that the characters had when it switched over to their POVs, which was good. And it was nice to see the way their friendship grew and how real it felt.
I was left somewhat confused by the end of the book, but I’m hoping that answers will be provided in the next books in this series. I do intend to read those at some point in the future. This was a good fantasy with an intriguing world and storyline and I hope to see more of Rhen and Jinji.