In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world. Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.
Before this book came out, I feel like I’d see it here and there, and it sounded it interesting, but I didn’t jump on it right away. Though, as the release date crept closer I kept hearing about how awesome this book was. After seeing so much love for it, I was intrigued and wanted to give it a shot. Adult books have been a bit iffy for me lately, so I was a bit nervous going into it, but I knew I wanted to give it a shot anyway. A ship carrying a harmless man, cloaked in destiny, and captained by a women with a song who can calm waters and warp a man’s mind. And some kind of promise that man just might end up being a villain. Oh yes, I wanted to give it a shot indeed. Trigger warnings: alcohol, blood magic
The best word I can think of to describe this book is vivid. The characters, the world, the writing, everything about this book was incredibly vivid. It’s a splash of bright colors that clash against unique and brilliant storytelling to create a spectacular book.
I think the problems I have been having with the Adult books I’ve been trying out are with the pacing. It’s so different from YA, a slow lull rather than a fast lurch. This book definietly felt like a slow lull, but in a good way! It burns, instead of being dull. Plus, it’s so easy to become invested with everything that is happening and who is happening too. I mean, dock fights and bi captains.
Speaking of bi captains, I was very surprised with who the characters were and how much I liked them. I was expecting one, maybe two, POV characters, but there’s actually multiple! The book actually reads like there is only two POV characters, which I think is testament to how freaking well this book is paced. Nothing is rushed, no development feels shoved into place, and every POV character gets a completely fleshed out story while also moving towards interconnecting with the others. Also, I mean, they’re also a (disaster) bi captain, a vessel for a crow god, a sun priest, and a crow rider (also a Shield for his clan, so he’s just go so much awesomeness going for him). Like, they’re all just so cool. They’re also super serious, so they probably wouldn’t like being described this way (in like a fun teasing way), which makes this even more awesome to write haha. 🙂
There’s also giant fantasy animals! I’m a sucker for pretty much any book that has giant fantasy animals, and this book definitely delivers on the that front. They might not be super prominent, but they way they are ingrained into the world was amazing and the scenes they are in are just beautifully crafted.
It was amazing to watch the plotlines of this book converge, to see where they are going, to see the connected lines, and know the destruction that is going to come when they finally all collide. Incredibly written, with characters that I wanted to dig deeper into from the first meeting, and vividness surrounding every aspect, this book was amazing all around.