Goodreads : Link
My Ratings : 4 stars
Genre: YA, Fantasy
About this Book :
Terror. Callousness. Denial. Rebellion. How the four teenage children of leaders in the duchy and the neighboring empire of Hanaobi choose to adapt to their nefarious parents’ whims is a matter of survival.
Rohesia, daughter of the duke, spends her days hunting “outsiders,” fugitives who’ve snuck onto her father’s island duchy. That she lives when even children who resemble her are subject to death hardens her heart to tackle the task.
Fastello is the son of the “king” of the raiders who steal from the rich and share with the poor. When aristocrats die in the raids, Fastello questions what his peoples’ increasingly wicked methods of survival have cost them.
An orphan raised by a convent of mothers, Cateline can think of no higher aim in life than to serve her religion, even if it means turning a blind eye to the suffering of other orphans under the mothers’ care.
Kojiro, new heir to the Hanaobi empire, must avenge his people against the “barbarians” who live in the duchy, terrified the empress, his own mother, might rather see him die than succeed.
When the paths of these four young adults cross, they must rely on one another for survival—but the love of even a malevolent guardian is hard to leave behind.
This book was my chance to read more of Amy McNulty’s books (because I really like the Never Veil series) and I was told that this would be something new and different than her other work. Reading this surprised me (pleasantly) because I really liked it. Even with 4 POV’s , it flowed so naturally. I was caught up in the angle of emotions, the premise and the uniqueness of each character.
The first chapter is from Rohesia’s POV, daughter of the duke and badass females with a soft heart are sort of a weakness of mine so of course I liked her character. Then, there’s Fastello, the charming son of king who kind of game me the Robin-hood vibe. I was a little less impressed with Kajiro though, somehow I couldn’t connect to him on a deeper level like I did with the other characters, even Cateline who believes in this insane religion (that I never agreed with). But it was still easy to empathize with her.
The Hanobi empire has a tense relation with it’s neighbor the Duchy island. All outsiders in Duchy are assassinated and Hanobi don’t share their food with the Duchy even when people are starving.
It is so easy to read that this book can be read in one sitting. It’s impossible not to like this book after reading it. I enjoyed it when all the main characters finally met and then how their lives were entwined. Even with all the chaos and fast-paced scenes with multiple POV’s, I never once got confused or caught myself not knowing what was happening. Now that’s talent.