RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2016
AUTHOR: Kathryn Purdie
GENRE:Young-Adult, Fantasy, Romance.
PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books
SUMMARY: In Riaznin, it’s considered an honor for Auraseers like Sonya—girls with a rare form ofsynesthesia—to serve as the emperor’s personal protector, constantly scanning for feelings of malice and bloodlust in the court. But Sonya would rather be free.
After the queen’s murder and a tragic accident, Sonya is hauled off to the palace to guard a charming yet volatile new ruler. But Sonya’s power is reckless and hard to control. She’s often carried away by the intense passion of others.
And when a growing rebellion forces Sonya to side with either the emperor who trusts her or his mysterious brother, the crown prince, Sonya realizes she may be the key to saving the empire—or its greatest threat.
This was one of my highly anticipated releases of 2016 and after reading so many mixed reviews about this book, I’ve pretty much lowered my expectations on it and still gave it a chance. This book wasn’t what I had expected it to be, it was pretty intense, dark and emotional. I did enjoyed the story but I’ve got two major issues with this book, first the romance which was frustrating and second is the main character who seemed too weak and vulnerable. Though the plot wasn’t mind blowingly amazing, it was mysterious and intriguing enough to read it till the end.
In the empire of Riaznin, the gifted Auraseer’s are hunted and kept in a convent to improve their skills so that one day they could serve as a personal protector for the emperor. An Auraseer is someone who can detect auras, emotions and feelings of others. Seventeen year old Sonya is an auraseer who is considered to be abnormal among other auraseers due to her enhanced senses and a mysterious skill. Due to a tragic accident, Sonya is chosen as the next sovereign auraseer for the emperor. Sonya doesn’t have full control on her power and she didn’t want to serve the emperor but she has no choice and one mistake may lead to her death sentence. When Sonya meets the emperor she hadn’t expected him to be so young and charming with a volatile personality. When a rebellion rises against the emperor, Sonya don’t know who to trust and she is forced to side with either the emperor who desires her or his half brother, the mysterious crown prince who intrigues her.
Sonya is an ok character but honestly I was expecting someone better. She seemed a bit confusing and it was hard to connect to her. Her gift felt more like a curse cause feeling all the emotions going through by others is not a easy thing because sometimes sonya isn’t able to distinguish her own feelings from those around her. She is also a bit annoying and whiny whenever neither of the guys pays attention to her and sometimes her stupidity really wants me to strangle her. Anton, the crown prince is a mysterious and interesting character who has a secret agenda of his own. His hot and cold personality did confused me at the beginning but there’s a certain charm in him that made me want to know more about him. Valko, the emperor may seem dark and charming but underneath all of that he’s totally unstable who desires power more than anything. Sonya gets attracted to both Valko and Anton and she can’t decide who she actually likes but as the story progress we’ll know who she desires the most. Basically, I love triangle’s but this one is a utter failure. The romance felt like totally meh and yeah it was very steamy and there’s so much angst but I felt no passion in it. Except for Pia, sonya’s personal maid there isn’t any strong supporting characters in the plot.
The plot was mysterious and suspenseful but it was nowhere near exciting or thrilling. The story moved in a decent pace in the first half and fast paced in the second half. Even though I didn’t liked the triangle in it, I really want to know how it’s gonna turn out in the end and I was also very curious to know who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy. I loved the setting and it’s pretty sad that we don’t get to explore much in this book. I didn’t have any problems with the writing, it was simply amazing and beautiful. There’s a huge character development of Sonya at the end which I really liked but it was too late for me to change my thoughts on this book.
Overall, I liked it but I don’t love it. It was really disappointing that it failed to deliver what I had expected but the story does have lots of potential. What I really liked about this book was the concept, the setting and the writing.
Do I recommend this book?
Yes, I would recommend it but beware it has a triangle that you may find it annoying and if you’re looking for a action-packed fantasy then this book isn’t for you.
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