After meeting Ms. Calleiro through her interview, and her main character Ar’ch, I couldn’t resist picking up the book to see what it was about. When I first started reading, I didn’t check the genre, so thought I’d gotten pulled into a romance. There is a little bit of that, but this definitely falls into the world of fantasy.
Though this is a common trope – a teenager who has no idea who (or what) she discovers this information – the telling has a unique flavor to it. It is a middle school to young adult book that is a wonderfully light read for fantasy readers of all ages. For adult readers, the writing may not be as tightly woven as some, for the younger set, I think the word crafting is well developed. The technicalities of the story are well balanced, as is the complexity of the characters. There is a wonderful sense of “this isn’t true” through out by Sophia, the one who must discover her past, and just who, or what, she is.
A few times, the insistence by Ar’ch and a couple other characters that Sophia is special is a tad thick, her own disbelief helps to provide the tension within the story itself. The characters themselves come across as real as someone you might bump into tomorrow – the smug “I know I look good, and I want others to know it too” type that just makes you want to dump a bucket of ice water over their heads in the middle of a snow storm. The “Um, you’re going to get us into a world of hurt” type that draws you in to trust them implicitly, because while they are flawed, they are also brutally honest. The absolute skeptic who provides a sense of relief when things are going too good. And, the “You aren’t going anywhere without me” type who just want to protect and mother everyone they encounter.
Through the maelstrom of types, the inability to figure out just who exactly is the good guy, and who the bad guy is wonderfully woven. A few times it surfaces clearly, but then it is just as quickly submerged once again in the twists and turns.
Overall, I happily give this one a 5 of 5 stars. It is a debut novel, so there are a few minor flaws, but nothing that will jar you out of the story. And, really nothing that detracts from the tale being told. It almost is in retrospect that they start to dull the glitter of this wonderfully written book. (And, one of the biggest flaws for me – I haven’t been able to read the next, and the next, and the next. )