I’m going to make one point clear – McKenna’s writing style made it hard for me to get immersed in this book. Her jumbled descriptions and fondness for run on sentences almost made me put the book down and not finish it.
But then, somehow, her world building and dynamic characters still pulled themselves out of her dense narrative and hooked me in.
Livak is an interesting chaotic (lawful?) protagonist. Her way of viewing the world is something that very few female heroines in the fantasy genre have. While she was rough around the edges, blunt, and far from lady-like, there was still a genuinity to her, and a feminine softness that liked to hide behind her calloused exterior. There are plenty heroines in modern stories who are not damsels in distress – but Livak is a whole other breed of independent.
I did want more from the other characters, but I suspect that McKenna explores them in the other books in this series.
The kinship that grows between the characters was something I really appreciated. It was a very real growth, one supplemented with an instinct for survival and a solid pack mentality. It was probably my favourite part of the book.
The world was well fleshed out, and deeply embedded in the story. Although I found myself skipping the historic pieces of narrative plugged in throughout the book.
Overall, an enjoyable fantasy story.