First Lines: Prayer candles flicker in my bedroom. The Scriptura Sancta lies discarded, pages crumpled, on my bed. Bruises mark my knees from kneeling on the tiles, and the Godstone in my navel throbs.
This has been on my to-read list for a while because I thought it looked cool, but not cool enough to move to the top of the list. I mean, I like fantasies, but I’m not usually too into the high fantasy kind of stuff. That’s what this looked like. But when I saw it in the library, I grabbed it anyway.
Elisa is the chosen one. She has been since shortly after her birth. But she doesn’t see how she can be destined to do anything right. As the second princess in her country, she’s really not going to ever do much. Royal duties fall on her sister’s shoulders. On Elisa’s sixteenth birthday, she ends up secretly married to a handsome king of a neighboring kingdom who is in dire need of the chosen one. And he’s not the only one looking for her. Darker and far more dangerous foes want Elisa too. A revolutionary thinks she could be the savior everyone is looking for. Elisa could be everything the people want her to be. She is the chosen one, after all. She just has to fulfill the prophecy and try not to die young.
I knew this book had its claws in me by chapter 3. It was that freaking good. I couldn’t put it down. And due to some very fortuitous snow days, I was able to spend the vast majority of my time reading.
The descriptions of everything in Elisa’s life helps make the story feel very real. Everything from the people to the kingdoms to Elisa’s thought process is made abundantly clear. That was so nice for understanding the world she’s in. The only possible thing that could have made the reading easier was if there was a map in the beginning of the book. I would have appreciated that, but I’m not complaining.
Elisa’s a different kind of heroine than most, and I liked that. She starts out as a pudgy, self-depricating princess who really doesn’t think she’s ever going to amount to anything. And we really get to see her grow over the 400+ pages of this book. I really liked that. (But I’m a sucker for character growth/development.)
This story was pretty daring at times, too. Twists I didn’t anticipate, deaths I never saw coming, and some very interesting action sequences. It kept itself from ever feeling cliche. I just gave up on trying to put it in a box. That’s not to say that there weren’t parts I couldn’t sorta figure out what would happen next. I could. And I like that. But there were also parts that had me completely off guard. It was a great balance of the two.
I am very, very curious to see what happens in the next book. This one felt like it pulled out most of the stops, so I really can’t imagine where it’ll go from there.