Author: Kate Elliott
My rating: 3.2 out of 5
Fellian is an indentured slave-mage, forced to serve under the Liberationists, the very government that hanged her parents. When an opportunity arises for Fellian to escape her servitude, she ends up helping the Monarchists in their fight against the Liberationists. But neither side is entirely black or white, and Fellian will need to determine where she will stand.
This book was a quick and easy read. It introduced a lot of different cultural concepts in a short time frame. I liked how the story contrasted a communistic type of governance to a monarchistic society, showing how neither side was entirely good or evil. The storyline didn’t follow all the tropes I expected, which was a pleasant surprise.
Fellian is a fire mage. Her job is to make magical lamps every night to light the city streets. Like her fiery magic, Fellian has an accompanying fierce nature that didn’t keep her down as a slave, and certainly won’t stop her from determining her own future and questioning the actions of those she follows.
There were a lot of characters and plot crammed into this single book. I know I’ve complained before that so many books these days are long drawn out sagas, but I’m going to complain about the opposite here. This book could’ve gained by devoting more time on each of the characters Fellian ran away with. Yes, they did get their own personalities and backstories to a degree, but the book felt too rushed to me at times. I think the author geared this book towards a YA audience, and didn’t want to scare potential readers away with a thick tome. Taking that into account, I’d say the author did a fantastic job. Yes, there was a lot of story packed into about 176 pages instead of double that amount, but the story flowed nicely, the pacing was great, and even though the book felt too short for all it accomplished, it still managed to present a unique world filled with magic, politics, revolutions, and strong characters.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.