When their father is murdered by imperial soldiers, two siblings set out on opposite paths–one will destroy the Empire forever and the other will save it–in this thrilling new epic fantasy.
Sonya is training to be a Ranger of Marzanna, an ancient sect of warriors who have protected the land for generations. But the old ways are dying, and the rangers have all been forced into hiding or killed off by the invading Empire.
When her father is murdered by imperial soldiers, she decides to finally take action. Using her skills as a ranger she will travel across the bitter cold tundra and gain the allegiance of the only other force strong enough to take down the invaders.
But nothing about her quest will be easy. Because not everyone is on her side. Her brother, Sebastian, is the most powerful sorcerer the world has ever seen. And he’s fighting for the empire. (taken from Amazon)
Thank you to Angela Man and Orbit books for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. This book is available now.
Before getting into my thoughts on the book itself, I have to mention the gorgeous cover. Before even reading the blurb, I was interested in this book, based on the amazing artwork. The blurb made me want to read it all the more.
I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. The idea was a great one: two siblings who find themselves on opposite sides of a war, told from their points of view. The Slavic influences were intriguing, and I really enjoyed the wintry feel of the world in general. As far as fantasy settings go, I dug this one.
The main characters are Sonya and her brother Sebastian. Sonya is the last surviving member of the Rangers of Marzanna, an elite warrior group. She has special gifts that are given to the rangers, which made her a pretty hardcore fighter. She was rather underdeveloped as a character, though, and I struggled reading about her. There was so much potential to her, but it wasn’t fully realized. Yet. She may become more three dimensional in the following installment.
As for her brother, Sebastian…have you seen The Force Awakens? There’s a scene where Kylo Ren throws a temper tantrum and the stormtroopers that were heading his way just turn and walk away. Reading about Sebastian felt like watching Kylo Ren’s tantrum. He really needed someone to put him on timeout. The two of them together…oy vey.
However, the other characters were fantastic. They made up for the less than stellar main characters, and each brought their own brand of extra something to the book. My favorite was Jorge, an apothecary who ends up involved through a strange set of circumstances.
While I didn’t love the book, I liked it enough to be curious about the next book. Sometimes a series improves as it goes on and the author gets their groove. I’m hoping that will be the case for this book.