The Four Realms—Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the city of dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir. But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving city. And without it, all the realms are dying. Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs—Risha, a necromancer struggling to keep the peace; Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with rebellion in her heart; and Nik, a soldier who struggles to see the light— will sacrifice everything to save the city. But their defiance will cost them dearly.
I knew I wanted to read this book when I heard it was a multi realm dark fantasy, with each realm having a god, and each god having an heir. And the realms are now sealed from each other, because the gods have withdrawn their favor. It sounded freaking incredible, and I was very eager to read it! Trigger warnings: mentions of parental abuse, grief, self-harm, blood, gore
Everything about this book boils down to the fact that Tara Sim is a genius.
The world, the realms, dear gosh, there is so much packed into them. It’s something beyond sweeping. It’s a whole universe. It digs into the existential questions, and it does not leave anything unturned. AND THIS IS THE FIRST BOOK IN A TRILOGY. Just, the way this world was able to present such an intricate world, with a plot that has just as many tiny cogs working to move it forward, is brilliant. It never felt like the information was dumped to be dumped, and I was able to immerse myself in the world and understand everything that was being thrown at me. The way it is crafted, it left me breathless. So, so brilliant.
I feel similarly about the plot. It’s one that spans many characters, many realms. There’s political intrigue, along with darkness beginning to seep out of corners. There is so much of, and there are so many tiny pieces at play. And all of it makes sense and works AND THERE’S EVEN TWISTS THAT LITERALLY MADE MY JAW DROP. It’s incredible.
I fell in love with all of the characters a lot more than I thought I was going to. I grew to love them because they truly emerged throughout the book. It felt like the book gave me space to become invested with them. This book is a slow burn in terms of characters, but it completely works, because I ended up completely in love with all of them.
There is also a creepiness that seems to hang in the air, waiting. It comes out at certain times, in scenes that are completely terrifying, oh my gosh, they made me hold my breath and the way they were written was just spectacular. And so much of it builds on dread, on things that are made of myths and legends of times long passed, with glimpses of powers that are truly frightening. It does this so well, and it makes everything about the darker aspects of this book just brilliant.
AND THERE’S A SCENE LIKE THE FIGHT SCENE FROM THE FIRST SEASON OF THE WITCHER EXPECT IT’S ROMANTICALLY TINGED AND THERE’S A BONE DRESS.
I really, really loved this book. It’s downright stunning in everything that it does, and it is just brilliant all around. It’s so, so incredible.