Maria V. Snyder
You guys, I’m floored. This book is everything I wanted it to be and so much more. Snyder weaves her tale through two countries and into a couple different worlds and through it all her characters are astounding. Yelena and Valek continue to be the most selfless people I have ever read, constantly making the decision to help others instead of taking a much deserved vacation.
In the review of Book Two, I said that Snyder flawlessly builds her settings, which is true, but that’s not the only thing Snyder does. Not. Even. Close.
The first thing I want to hit on is her ability to build suspense. It’s incredible. I felt like I was sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time. There are some books that are too suspenseful and others that completely miss that target, resulting in the literary equivalent of unflavored oatmeal. Snyder, however, hits the nail on the head. Her level of suspense is just enough to make you fly through the pages, but then get sad when you realize that there are only a few left. She captured me with the suspense.
The second is her ability to take the story in a direction that the reader doesn’t expect, but is frakking fantastic nonetheless. I was stunned with how much happens in just the first 40% of the book. To be honest, it’s pretty much impossible to give you any details of this book without giving spoilers for the second book. (Admittedly the second book has been out for 3 years, but just in case, I’d rather not spoil the end.) I will say, every step of Yelena’s journey in this book is completely surprising. There are twists and turns and it’s all for the best.
Once again, Snyder gives you characters that are living, breathing people. However, since this book takes place in both Sitia and Ixia, literally the entire cast of characters gets at least a cameo if not a starring role. I think that was my favorite aspect of the book. I got to have all of my favorite characters for most of it, instead of having to have two sets of favorite characters.
This is a short review because I have nothing negative to say about the book. The story is compelling, astounding, and addictive. I know Snyder has a few other series out there and I will definitely be procuring them in the near future.
5 ink bottles. Once again, that doesn’t seem like enough for this book.