I was really enjoying this for most of the book. I LOVED having a nonbinary artist POV – especially one where their gender isn’t an issue and it’s their bumbling inability to focus on anything that isn’t art that gets them in trouble. Jebi is so relatable. The novel is dense enough that I had to be in a quiet place to focus on it, but it’s so fascinating.
Some of my favorite things about it:
1 – casual unremarkable nonbinary characters, LGBT+ relationships, and polyamory THAT DON’T DRIVE THE STORY.
2 – The magical paints. Also the process by which they’re created made me cringe, as an artist.
3 – Giant metal war machine dragon that’s actually a pacifist and more of a philosopher than anything? Heck yeah.
4 – bumbling artist attempts to find a job as an artist and ends up working for the war department of their conquerors? oops.
What even was up with that ending though??? It really threw me. The pacing is off for the last 20% or so as well, the combination of which knocked a star off my rating.
*Thanks to NetGalley and Rebellion publishing for providing an e-arc to review