I was nervous to start this and for good reason: The. Hype. The hype around this book is intense. Sadly, after completing this one I realized I did not enjoy it as much as everyone else. It is beautifully written but I was lost the entire time.
Short recap: Maya is cursed and fights the horoscope prediction that says only bad things will come her way. She is quickly married to a stranger, Akaran. Life with him is not what she expected but he has his secrets of his own.
I wanted to love this book so hard. I wanted to be like many of the other readers and be swept away in the brilliant writing and magical story. That did not happen for me and it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I finished this book hoping it would have found a place in my heart but all I got was confusion. I think I know why: too much was going on. The writing style is gorgeous in a way that there doesn’t seem to be a strong enough word. Yet, I didn’t know where to focus my attention. There really was so much going on that I felt like I got lost in the details. I know there is a wonderful plot amongst all of those pretty words, but I never really found it. The world building was so heavy and full that once the story got rolling, I wasn’t invested enough in the characters to know or care what was happening to them. I did not feel anything towards Maya or her cause. I wanted more from her as a protagonist. I felt she was simply filling the role but not really adding to it. There was a case of instalove in this story and that nearly caused me to stop cold turkey. I did soldier on and I finished but it was not easy.
The pacing of the story itself was not consistent. The first half felt rather slow and as a result, I fumbled at keeping up with what was going on. I kept stopping to go back and re-read what I just read so I could make sense of it all. I just never felt the hook or the draw to make me invested in the overall story. This is the perfect example of why I shy away from high fantasy books: fear of getting lost in the story and not knowing what is happening.
This is still a very sought after story and everyone is dying to read it…so I am willing to give the second book a chance. Maybe I just did not jive with the first and the second will be my kindred spirit. I won’t know until I try. The sequel is from another character’s POV so maybe it will finally set its hooks into me.