Where do I start with this book? Where do I start?
I first saw this gorgeous cover on Dani’s blog and I immediately added it to my Goodreads TBR, no questions asked. I mean, do you have eyes? Because that cover is the most beautiful thing in existence. And yet…it’s nothing compared to what’s inside.
It took my approximately four pages to fall in love with this book. Honestly, the words ‘war’, ‘Prince’ and ‘books’ had been mentioned and there was no going back from there. I may have gotten a little out of control on Goodreads. I try to keep my updates about 100 pages apart usually, but I went a little mad with this one. I just needed to vent out my feels. I’m sorry! (not really) Anyway, let’s break down why I loved this book so much.
We’ll start with Vhalla. I absolutely adored her, honestly, she’s going on my top favourite female characters ever list. Why? Not only is she a total badass sorcerer, she’s a librarian, a reader and super, super intelligent. I don’t know about you, but that’s just everything I’ve ever wanted in a character. She’s reminds me a little of Celaena, only much, much nicer, not so arrogant and not involved with every male ever (still love you, Celaena). I think one of my favourite things about Vhalla is that when discovers she has magic, she’s reluctant to use it. She’s not suddenly the best in the world at it and I really liked that. She’s just an amazing character and I cannot wait to see how she grows in the rest of the series.
Next, Aldrik. I’ll admit, there was a little bit there where I thought ‘Oh, you’re dark and mysterious—cool, but you’re also kind of an asshole’. I did grow to love Aldrik though, on page 155 according to my Goodreads updates. Yeah, he was still dark and mysterious but he does really care about Vhalla. He’s definitely still a very flawed character, but as long as he treats Vhalla right, I don’t really care about the other stuff. At least, for now. These two were giving me serious OTP feels though, and you know why I’m not happy with you Elise.
The absolute favourite thing about the entire novel was the world-building. There are so many times where I just stared at the words and thought to myself, ‘Oh my god, I love this world’. There are so many different layers to the Empire. There’s the magic, different territories and people and the war. The magic system blew my mind. I love all types of magic, and this one was just so interesting and unique. I especially loved the backstory to the different types of magic, but even more than that I loved that were books about it. Books inside of books is one of my favourite things, but sometimes they can be a little bit of an info dump and end up taking something away from the story. This wasn’t like that at all, Elise slipped the books in really well so that you, and Vhalla, learn just enough each time rather than a massive ‘here’s everything you need to know about magic’ in one go. Another thing I really liked was that the people from the different territories all looked different, it was nice to have a little bit of diversity in the characters we got to meet.
That ending, though. I’m sorry Elise, but I’m going to have fly over there and take book two away from you now because I NEED it, like now. That being said, I am honestly super, massively, unbelievably excited to read book two, Fire Falling, because I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one. A really, really good one.
And Elise, please send me my own Fritz, please and thank you.