Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Stacey McEwan
Publisher: Angry Robot
Release Date: September 13th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
After being randomly selected as a human sacrifice, instead of death, Dawsyn finds herself on a quest to save her people from their icy prison…
In a place known as The Ledge, a civilization is trapped by a vast chasm and sheer mountain face. There is no way for anyone to escape the frozen wasteland without befalling a deathly drop. They know nothing of the outside world except that it is where The Glacians reside – mystical winged creatures who bring them meagre rations to survive, in exchange for a periodic human sacrifice. Dawsyn, axe wielder and only remaining member of her family, has so far avoided the annual culling, but her luck has run out. She is chosen and ripped from her icy home, the only world she knows. No one knows what will happen to her on the other side, least of all Dawsyn. Murdered? Enslaved? Worse?Thankfully, the fates align and Dawsyn manages to escape their clutches with the help of a half-Glacian called Ryon. But trust does not come easily, and she keeps a trained axe to his throat while they journey together down the slopes. But who’s to say that the life below will be any better than the one she has run from?
Thank you Angry Robot and Netgalley for the eARC.
This book may have been too hyped for me, but I just didn’t love this like I hoped for.
The writing style took me a bit to get into, once there though, I was fine. I really liked the initial plot set-up and the winter vibes. It was unique with the chasm concept and the clear secrets being withheld from this group of humans stuck being terrorized by the Glacians. A winged folk group is always a good decision and I liked those aspects too.
What got me is the lack of intimacy between the love interests Ryon and Dawsyn (also love that name). I think the burn was a little too fast and with the writing style I didn’t feel fully invested in them. There was much more emphasis on their physical dynamics rather than any other facet that I also like seeing in a budding relationship.
With the focus turned so much inward the larger plot lost some steam. I liked many of the reveals and even seeing them coming didn’t take away from my enjoyment. There’s some good plot twist tropes I like (won’t mention specifics because of spoilers). BUT a particular scene towards the end felt too easy because there wasn’t enough time dedicated to this rebellion that was occurring.
Ending was totally shocking. I’m still sitting here contemplating how that’s supposed to work itself out. Am I intrigued enough to try book two? I *think* so.
Overall audience notes:
- Fantasy Romance
- Language: some strong
- Romance: multiple brief open door; low-med explicitness
- Violence: high
- Trigger/Content Warnings: mentions of rape and sexual assault, near death experiences, kidnapping, murder, physical and weapons altercations, battle scenes, loss of loved ones