Started: May 6, 2017
Finished: May 14, 2017
Rating: 4/5 stars
Time for a little family reunion.
I VOLUNTARILY REVIEWED A COPY FROM THE “RACHEL E. CARTER YA BOOK CLUB” ON GOODREADS
So I wasn’t sure about this book when I got it. I felt the blurb was a bit vague and it took me quite a while to get into it. However, I soon found that I really enjoyed it.
The story follows four people; Rohesia, Fastello, Cateline and Kojiro. Rohesia is the daughter of a duke, tasked with finding “outsiders” – something that troubles her from time to time as she is half “outsider”. Fastello is the son of the “nomad king” and is not pleased with his father’s new way of ruling – earlier the nomads only stole the goods of rich people, but now they also murder them. Cateline grew up in a monastery and wants nothing but to follow the religion she has been brought up with – sometimes to a fault. And Kojiro is the younger son of the Hanaobi empress (Hanaobi = “outsiders”) and suddenly finds himself the heir to the throne – but his mother would rather see him dead.
These four very different individuals eventually end up together and start to realize that, maybe, they’re not that different at all. They have all suffered in the past, their parents have been both loving and cruel, but it’s high time a new rule is instated. But at what cost?
Out of the four characters I think I liked Kojiro the most. Maybe because he was very different and his chapters showed him struggling with learning the language of the duchy – sort of like learning English when you’re from China or Japan (Hanaobi is definitely inspired by these nations). I also felt like he was the character with the most depth. The others developed as well throughout the story, but they could have been pushed even further. The world could also have been developed further; it took me a while to realize that Rohesia, Fastello and Cateline all grew up on an island (the duchy) and that only Kojiro was from the main land.
What I really enjoyed about this story, though, was the writing and the way the events flowed into one another. And that there were things close to the end that I had not expected to see. These things definitely pushed the rating up from 3 to 4 stars and I am looking forward to the sequel.