My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This book was well written enough that I didn’t mind the fact that it was written in first person, something I normally hate and avoid reading at all costs. Yet the story since it focused on Avry and her journey for the most part made sense to be done in first person instead of third. In fact it’s books like this one that are slowly helping me become accustomed to and enjoy reading first person.
The story was interesting, a world where a large portion of the population died off due to a plague and healers are hunted down because they are blamed for the plague. I enjoyed the world that this was set in, with fifteen kingdoms, a diminished population, factions fighting for control and healers being killed off. A decent amount of history is added into the mix, though it didn’t give as much insight into as I would have hoped. The discoveries about the plagues origins, though nor all was revealed, was a nice addition. It will be interesting to see how the Death and Peace Lilies plan their part in the story, and not just with the plague. My hope is that the next book will give a better amount of history, not just about the world and the plague but some of the characters as well.
Avry is a good female lead, and while she can be stubborn at times it works well for her character, especially given the situations she has found herself in over the years with healers being hunted down and killed. I liked her spunk, how no matter what anyone else said to her in the end she chose who she healed and who she didn’t. Even though she has been on the run for some time Avry does lack a number of survival skills which thanks to her determination hasn’t held her back. Kerrick was an interesting male lead character. Throughout the majority of the story he shows two sides of himself, there’s his leader side which shows up when he is with his men and then there is this more open Kerrick that slowly reveals himself over the course of events and this side is seen more and more as the book comes to an end. The others in Kerrick’s group an a great mix of personalities but they all work well together. Most importantly they not only protect Avry as they travel but come to care for her in their own ways and pass on plenty of valuable advice and skills for her to use as they go.
Even after her rescue at the beginning she is once again forced to be on the run, though with a group who are determined to keep her safe until she can heal their friend. Though a lot of the book involves the group traveling for months on end I found the flow of the book really good, with only a few slow parts, one of which being when Belen was training Avry to use the throwing knives while they stayed in one area for more than a single night. But these few slow areas didn’t really ruin anything for me, and in fact that slight break from pace was a nice thing.
This book is full of schemes, betrayals, struggling to survive, learning to trust again, adaptation to a new life and really a new world to live in. The variety of characters that were seen through give this book a nice diversity that allows the reader to truly become immersed in the story. There were a nice amount of twists and turns along the way that gave hints of what may come without giving too much away. The romance in this book was subtle and I actually found it perfect for the story since the focus should not have been on the romance but the story itself. It was only in the last fifty to one hundred pages that the romance even started to be shown although there were very subtle hints that it may happen along the way.
I did have a few issues with it however, one being a few of the things said in dialog. Now this is set in what I would consider medieval/renaissance period and yet there were sayings such as “Too bad. So sad.” used in the book. That saying and a few others felt far too modern to be used in this book. Luckily there were not too many of these instances to take away from the book as a whole but when they did show up they felt very out of place.
Overall I enjoyed this book and would certainly recommend it to those who enjoy books in the Fantasy genre but also those who like to read Young Adult. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series since I am curious to know what will happen next for Avry and the others.