I finished this book a while ago and have been struggling with my thoughts since. I loved this story so much that I believe I am now ruined. This was so much more than I could have imagined… it was masterfully done. I wish all YA fantasy stories could be written this way because it was pure magic. Be warned that this review will be a struggle for me to write so it may be a little scattered. I loved this story so much so that means I will have a difficult time properly expressing everything I enjoyed about this outstanding novel.
While this is labeled a “fantasy” story, it did not feel like every other fantasy story out there. This felt original, engaging, absorbing, and enchantingly amazing. I have not really been a big fan of high fantasy and I’m happy to say this was not that type of fantasy. This was just enough of everything to be perfect. The author did a wonderful job of keeping this historical side of this story entertaining and engaging. I did not feel overwhelmed with infodumps of unnecessary details. The Asian influence of the story was beautifully expressed.
The characters felt flawed and complex while still being believable. From the very beginning, I connected with these characters and simply had to know how the story ended. Let me tell you right now – that ending shattered me. I mean, absolutely gutted me. I was speechless for a while after I put this book down because it just would not stop playing in my mind. I was shook (in a good way).
What I am trying and failing to say is that I highly recommend this book to everyone. I was trying to give a review that did not give too much away, other than saying this was a brilliantly written story with deeply flawed and complex characters that will steal your heart. You want to move this up your TBR if you have not already. You need to read this.