After the ruling family is killed for their crimes, one child remains hidden. In the new government that has been created, any mentions of the previous way of life must be discouraged, so Lee must fight to keep his past hidden, even when the actions of his family have hurt the lives of the people he now cares the most about.
Spoiler Free Review:
Content Warnings: death of family, murder, violence, childhood trauma
I was fully expecting to enjoy this book, but it absolutely blew me away! I don’t feel like I’ve ever read another book like this one.
This book is very character-driven in my opinion. We follow Lee, the son of the previous ruler who has to protect his identity, and Annie, whose family was killed by the previous ruler. They are training together in a dragonrider fleet and fighting for the top positions.
The relationship between Lee and Annie was one of the most interesting, complex relationships I’ve read about. Not only do their pasts complicate things, but their present situations do as well, added in with their strong bond formed over many years. Whenever one of them had to make a decision, I could just feel all of the emotions tied to what choices they made.
The world was also so well created. The dragons are really the only magical element of this book, which normally isn’t my favorite, but I think it was so well done. The politics of this world and the clash of the old regime versus the new regime was so interesting. Normally, this heavy political stuff isn’t my favorite either, but I just thought it was so well done. It was complex, but still simple enough for me to understand.
There are some flashbacks in this book, but they were very well done. They were short and not too often, and always related to what was happening in the present.
This book is YA, and I was hesitant because I’ve been feeling some feelings about YA fantasy recently, but it doesn’t feel like it at all.
I just freaking loved this book. I ended up listening to the audiobook and I put everything else aside so that I could just sit and listen to it. I think I started it at 10PM one night and finished it the next afternoon.
Anyway, I am very much anticipating the sequel! I keep seeing the audiobook in my library and I am tempted to listen to it again, but I will have to resist until the sequel is published in March.