Miss Riki’s Review:
Seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices as a generals’ daughter in a vast empire that revels in war. She can join the military, or get married. But Kestrel has never been one to follow rules. One day, Kestrel finds herself at a slave auction, and following her instincts; she buys a young slave named Arin, who has a rebellious streak. As she learns more about the young man, she falls for him and must hide her growing affections. But Kestrel isn’t the only one with secrets, and she soon finds that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she thought.
This book had me fully invested in its characters from the very beginning. Each character introduced in the novel has such depth and complexity, with hidden motivations and intriguing backgrounds that beg for understanding. There is immense conflict in the romance that evolves between Kestrel and Arin, and the alternating POV of the story does a wonderful job of revealing the motivations for each. In a world where right and wrong are increasingly hard to differentiate, the two of them fall in love at their own peril. Although it seems like an impossible situation, I wanted so badly for them to find a way. It’s definitely not your typical romance. There’s just too much at stake for both of them.
With a strong political aspect and an impossible love story, this beautifully written book will captivate fantasy lovers. Its strengths lie in the depth of the complex characters and the difficult moral dilemmas that stand in the way of the protagonist finding her way.
Oh- and just as a side note- can we just all agree that this cover is stunning?!?