This book has such a pretty cover but the insides are just… meh. I kept thinking “I’ve read this before, haven’t I?” because it’s such a generic YA fantasy. But even more than that, the characters are all blank slates.
Jiara is dyslexic. She likes… nature? She wants to keep her sister’s ghost from hurting her family. That’s pretty much it. Raffar is… well he’s a king. He has tattoos. Otherwise he’s impassive. His translator has more personality in one scene than Raffar has in the first quarter of the book.
Partly this is the language barrier. Neither speaks the other’s language, so they communicate through translators. But even then you’d expect some personality to shine through.
The author has clearly thought a lot about the worldbuilding, but it could have been integrated into the story more smoothly.
Ultimately I came away with the feeling that it sounded like a great read but needed a lot of help to be able to get to that point.
*Thanks to NetGalley and North Star Editions for providing an e-arc for review.