Chosen to be their queen, Elli grows up surrounded by luxury only to be banished when she fails to inherit essential magic, a situation that leads to devastating revelations about her world’s magic and the role Elli was meant to play.
Rating: ★★★☆☆ – liked it
Genre: young adult fiction, ya fantasy, magical fantasy
Pros: bisexual protag, interesting magical mechanics
Cons: hard to get into, first person narration, felt a bit too long for the story
I definitely recommend this book and look forward to reading the sequel, but I think it’s important to know going in that it’s difficult to get into for quite a while. I think it took me almost half the book to actually start caring what was happening. If it hadn’t been for all the positive reviews online I wouldn’t have even kept trying.
There’s quite a bit of foreshadowing. I can’t quite decide how I feel about it. On the one hand, I love foreshadowing and always appreciate it, but on the other hand… It was really obvious foreshadowing and made the story overly predictable. Never once did I wonder what was coming, it was all pretty obvious from the very beginning, never a drop of mystery as much as the story tried.
If you are cool with first person narrators, you may not have as much trouble with this book as I did, but I really feel it hindered the story’s movement. I can only assume the intent is to keep us within the realm of what the main character knows, and have us learn as she learns, but it isn’t done well enough to feel worth it.
I did enjoy that her abilities were realistic. When she’s banished she is woefully unprepared for the real world and I appreciate that even with her book knowledge, she still had to learn how to do things. I’ve seen way too many fantasy novels where the protag is just magically good at things, but not Elli! It makes her much more relatable.
The mechanics of the magic are really interesting and I found myself glad the protag is who/what she is, as opposed to just a “late bloomer”. I won’t say more so I don’t spoil anything, but I feel like it serves the story better this way.
That’s about everything I can say without giving spoilers, but I’ll put some of that below if anyone wants it:
[start] I really love that Oskar and Sig’s personalities resemble their ice and fire!
I love that Elli has to learn to accommodate for her missing digits, that was an excellent touch.
I am almost 100% sure that the Valtia is Soturi. [end]