The Age of Darkness approaches.
Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it . . . or unleash it?
For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.
All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. With chaos on the horizon, five souls are set on a collision course:
A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.
One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer? (taken from Amazon)
Oh, I’m conflicted about this book! I’ll start right off by saying that I didn’t love it. I think I liked it, though. Told from five different points of view, switching from chapter to chapter, at times it felt disjointed. As much as each character was a part of the over arcing tale, having that many points of view seemed like an odd choice to me.
I feel like I should probably explain what a Grace is, since they’re a driving force in this book. Graces are gifts that improve a person’s ability in some way. There’s the Grace of Bloody, used to heal or hurt; the Grace of Heart, which makes one a better fighter; the Grace of Mind which can create magical items; and the Grace of Sight, which is basically scrying.
With a book like this, the easiest way for me to organize my thoughts is to take it character by character. First, there’s Hassan, a prince in hiding. His homeland has been overrun by a group of zealots known as The Witnesses, intent on destroying anyone with a Grace. A Grace is a special power, but more on that in a minute. Half the time I really liked Hassan, and the other half of the time I wanted to smack him. He was a very naive character, which I guess makes sense since up until he lost his kingdom he hadn’t seen much of life. Hassan is without a Grace in a bloodline that has strong powers. He feels powerless to help retake his homeland and it plays a large role in the choices he makes.
There’s the Pale Hand, a girl who can kill with a touch. She sounded a lot cooler than she ended up being in the book. In many ways, she was just sort of useless. I really can’t say much else about her because her story was less developed than others in my opinion.
Anton is a gambler who’s terrified and tries to hide it. He’s on the run from someone violent who has a vendetta against him. I really liked Anton. He was never boring, and the careless veneer he showed others made for a fascinating juxtaposition with his stressed, paranoid thoughts.
Jude is the young leader of The Order of the Last Light, a group of prophets who’ve returned in time to try to make sure their last prophecy is brought to light. He is so incredibly annoying! He’s wishy-washy, immature, and ditches the entire team he’s supposed to be leading without a second thought. Ugh!
Beru was another interesting character to me. Her secret was something I haven’t seen in YA yet, and it was refreshing to see an author doing something new in a genre that can sometimes seem to fit a very specific mold.
These characters did eventually weave into one narrative, but it took a while. In a way, they sort of circled each other in their separate parts of the story. The writing was solid, however, and it ended up coming together well. I just didn’t love it. This was an “pretty good, but nothing to write home about” book for me.