***I received an ARC, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. ***
First things first…if self-harm/mutilation triggers you…this is not the book for you. In order for people to access their wrought/wrights, they need to provide a sacrifice. In most cases, the sacrifice is flesh and blood from themselves or others.
This was one of those books that took me longer to fully digest…and for a good portion of the start I was worried I was reading a book that really wasn’t meant for me. Fantasy books, in general, take me a little bit to get into since there’s usually a lot of world-building and characters that can be overwhelming at times.
As I had asked for this ARC, based on the summary, I was determined to finish the story…I mean something sparked my interest and curiosity so it was only fair to see it through, right? Don’t get me wrong… I’m not above DNF’ing a book, I just feel being given access to an ARC is a little different than me getting a random book that I may DNF now, but pick up again later.
This was one of those books that I didn’t instantly connect to, but I also didn’t dislike, so I pushed through and continued reading, as the concept of the world fascinated me, even though I struggled to connect to the characters. A story that I needed to let marinate a day or so after completing to really let myself understand it before writing my review. I really had to think about what I wasn’t connecting to and why I might not be connecting to that part.
Why was I having trouble connecting to Lorena? I really thought this over, she’s a good person trying to ensure the safety of the many so why am I struggling so much to connect to her? And then my “Aha!” moment finally clicked into place. One of Lorena’s main sacrifices is her memories. Over the years Lorena has sacrificed countless memories to her wrought/wright. Memories shape us and make us who we are…they connect us to those around us and a lot of times our decisions are lead by our emotions around certain memories.
As a reader, and human in general, I rely on connecting emotionally to characters and people. I crave emotional connection. Lorena has sacrificed a lot of memories to ensure she remains on the mission she’s given herself. Sacrificing those memories helps her focus and not be lost or confused about what she needs to do. As someone who relies so strongly on my own emotions…the idea of erasing painful/happy memories is something I struggle to understand. If given the choice I’d rather sacrifice flesh and blood than erase any memories from my past…even the most painful ones. I’m too scared of who I might be if I didn’t have all those memories.
Once I finally realized this was my hesitation to connect to Lorena… I viewed the story, and Lorena, in a completely different light. Lorena has a true hero mentality, she will do what it takes, and make any sacrifice necessary to ensure the future of the many. Lorena’s strength and ability to put others first is …phenomenal. I look forward to re-reading this book now that I see Lorena through new eyes.
If you’re looking for a book that has Ace, and NB, representation, as well as a hero whose fierce determination to protect, is awe-inspiring…you should definitely check this book out!