Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 464 pages
Author: June C.L. Tan
Release Date: October 12th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
In an empire on the brink of war…
Ahn is no one, with no past and no family.
Altan is a lost heir, his future stolen away as a child.
When they meet, Altan sees in Ahn a path to reclaiming the throne. Ahn sees a way to finally unlock her past and understand her arcane magical abilities.
But they may have to pay a far deadlier price than either could have imagined.
Ferocious action, shadowy intrigue, and a captivating romance collide in June CL Tan’s debut, a stunning homage to the Xianxia novel with a tender, beating heart, perfect for fans of The Bone Witch and We Hunt the Flame.
I hate to say it but that’s how I felt for this one. Which means a lot of people will probably really enjoy this. I’ve just read one too many young adult fantasies that played out exactly the same and there was no nuanced new things to change my tune.
I had the hardest time with the main characters. Things weren’t clicking and I wanted more depth and understanding of them both. Then the romance came into play and I felt like things were happening too quickly all over the place. The plot was super fast and things needed more time to settle.
By halfway I was in speed read mode and looking very much forward to being through with this one. This is a dash of my thoughts so take them for what you will. It truly wasn’t a bad book. The writing is fine and the potential for others to love it is there. Most of it didn’t work for me personally.
Overall audience notes:
- YA Fantasy + Romance
- Language: none
- Romance: kisses
- Violence: physical and magical altercations, murder, loss of loved ones
- Trigger/Content Warnings: self harm, blood/gore depiction, grief/loss, torture