(This review may contain spoilers).
It’s been a long time since a book held me captive enough to find it nearly impossible to keep reading and I didn’t realise how much I’d missed that until now.
I found it really easy to fall into the world portrayed in this book. While there were villains in the piece, I liked the fact that most of them had enough depth that they came across as more human than not. And right from the start, I was questioning the rumours that had risen about Hallandren. It was nice to see so many role reversals in this book…and two main female characters who were so different from each other and yet still very strong each in her own right.
I did find the usage of the Awakening a bit confusing and even by the end of the book, I still wasn’t quite sure how it worked. Of course, some of the information was gleaned from what other characters said; and that wasn’t always accurate, whether due to ignorance or other, more sinister reasons.
The parts of the book I found the most interesting were when Siri was trying to navigate her way through the court, learning about politics and how to use the power she now wielded. I did find myself liking the God King, though I hadn’t expected to when he was first talked about.
It’s very hard to pick out a favourite character in this book, as most of them either went through some kind of growth that had me rooting for them by the end…or they were so engaging throughout, I found myself drawn to them straight from the start. Despite how he saw himself (and the religion surrounding him), Lightsong was actually a good example of both. I found myself laughing outright at some of the interactions he had with Blushweaver.
While I understand it wasn’t necessarily possible in this book, I would have liked to see a bit more from Nightblood. The sword itself became a really intriguing character throughout the book and I enjoyed its little asides to Vasher, along with the fact that it was really quite innocent and childlike when not in use.
I really enjoyed this book and I found the characters easy to empathise with and the world a really engaging one. I would really like to see more of the world and the characters in future books.