Book twitter is the reason I even heard about this series and it was on my tbr for a little while. The books are full of very heavy and sensitive topics related to war and not only, so please do your research before you dive into a new series.
The review might contain spoilers.
Rin – an orphan from a little known village has to make a difficult choice – put in hard effort to ace the most difficult exam in the Empire or go with the fate that her adoptive family has chosen – to marry her off to further their enterprise. Rin works hard and relentlessly to avoid that fate and manages to pass the exam with flying colors and go to the most elite school in the Empire – Sinegard.
Her passing the exam does not mean that her life in the military academy would be easy – far from it. She does not fit in any criteria among her peers, especially after she learns that she possesses an aptitude for shamanism – a mythical art that is nearly extinct. Exploring her gift and embracing it causes Rin’s world to shift and her perspective opens up much more.
This new life for Rin does not guarantee peace. Nikan is once again on the brink of war and Rin’s powers might be the only salvation for her people even if the cost is her own sanity and humanity.
What I liked about this book: This is an epic book – the attention to detail is overwhelming. There is great attention to details both with the actions and the characters, the worldbuilding is done spectacularly and the part that I enjoyed the most was the mythology for this world. The characters themselves have an array of interesting personalities – from Rin’s stubbornness and survival instincts, to Nezha’s thinking that he is above everyone else and soon after him being humbled, to Venka looking down on Rin for not truly fitting in, to Kitay being a smartass and of course, Altan who is very difficult for me to describe. Finding a favorite might be a difficult task. The Cike have a very special place in my heart. That’s all.
What I didn’t like about the book: Well, I can’t lie – I found the book very difficult to read at times because of how raw of a depiction it gives of war times. Some of the scenes are described so vividly that it’s guaranteed that they will make you uncomfortable and I think that’s good because war should never be comfortable.
A quote: “War doesn’t determine who’s right. War determines who remains.”
My rating: 4.5 stars
What book has been on your tbr for ages?