This review is a tad late because I needed time to process this book.
Which is a good thing, for the most part. I needed a moment to digest the depth of Tchaikovsky’s world, to allow my mind to rest after delving so deeply into spiritual concepts. The read was enjoyable, though a tad heavy.
I trudged through the first half of the story. It was interesting, yet dense and slow. I enjoyed learning about the world and its people, and I appreciated the desperation of the protagonist. However, there were plenty of sections that felt long winded and unnecessary. The author repeated himself quite a bit, on purpose, yet it did nothing for me. That’s the only reason why I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5 – the narrative was bogged down and made some of the read tiring.
Moving on from that, though, this book is a gem. The last half was fast paced, rich, and kept me hooked page after page. The battle scenes were breath taking – I LOVE how Tchaikovsky blends the different fight styles, and how he describes the shape shifters seamlessly Stepping (changing shape) during each battle. Flashes of human and animal brutality in each fight was wicked.
Though it took some time overall, I grew very attached to the characters. They live in such a hard, merciless world. The strength of each character is immense, and the author does a solid job developing them.
I have a weak spot for shape shifters, and overall, this story is one of my favorites.
I’m looking forward to the next book in the series!