This was epic!!!
This is the first ever novel I read of Samantha Shannon and oh my goodness it was amazing. The world is wonderfully rich and developed, the magic system is complex and highly original and the plot was suspenseful and riveting!
We follow multiple perspectives throughout this book and at first that kind of had me a little confused. There is a lot of information given right from the start and like most epic novels it takes me a while to get situated into the story. But once I had a grasp of the characters and a general scope of the premise I was hooked!
This world was once ravaged and nearly decimated by a war that was lead by a fierce dragon called the nameless one. A thousand years ago he was defeated by a saint that the kingdom now revere and his direct descendant is Queen Sabran who is ruler over this land. Ead has been charged by the Priory of the Orange Tree a sacred sect of mages to guard Queen Sabran and keep her safe.
I love that this book really centers around three totally different but complex and distinct female characters. Ead is wonderful. She is so stubborn yet staunch in her beliefs and I like that she will not cower from her duties. She will rebut and argue her point and she will always do what is necessary. Queen Sabran I didn’t really enjoy at the start of the book. I thought she was a little too pious and naïve but she really grew on me as the story progressed. I thought she handled the responsibility and obligation to her people very well. She had a lot of harsh blows dealt to her throughout the course of the book yet she remained firm and strong. I was curious about Tane and how she would fit in to the story as I continued to read. I couldn’t tell how she would connect back and make a mark on the plot but she definitely surprised me in the end. As one of the main perspectives in the book I knew she would have to make some form of impact but her storyline started out so small and kind of insignificant that I didn’t see anything coming! I love that we really see her hit rock bottom but continue to fight and strive to right her wrongs and gain some form of atonement for her actions.
Being over eight hundred pages there is a lot of action and twist that take place. The story wove together beautifully and I honestly could not predict what was going to happen next. This was a very plot heavy and character driven story that really excelled in capturing the harsh reality of the situation. The stakes were incredibly high and the anticipation kept building.
I really enjoyed this read, high/epic fantasy is without a doubt my favourite genre and this book ticked all the boxes for me!
⭐️4.5/5 Dragons, destinies and drama!!!