- Page Count: 354
- Release Date: July 18, 2017
- My Rating: 4 stars
Before: Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.
But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.
After: Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.
No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.
This was a well-rounded story that delivered some great character growth & action while creating a strong plot for the sequels to build on! But it’s definitely an intense read with a lot of trigger warnings for abuse, anxiety, and… it was just kind of stressful in general to read, ok. Most of the story takes place in a prison. But it still felt like a lot of familiar fantasy worlds where an almost-defeated main character has to battle through hell on her own, fight against a myriad of internal and external obstacles, and decide who she’ll be.
One thing I really loved about the whole book was the author’s ability to really capture a moment. The prison setting was pretty bleak to endure, but also super vivid. Mira has anxiety (and OCD? not sure) and you could completely feel her struggles and determination to persevere. I really liked her character. She’s been told her looks are her main asset, so throughout the story she finds her own power/voice and chooses to be more than a political puppet.
And I was totally expecting Mira’s best friend/bodyguard to instantly be the love interest & main focus, so that was a nice change to see the story go in a different direction.
I’m hoping the next book gets more dragons! Otherwise, this was mostly setting the stage so I’m excited to see where the sequel goes.
Thank you to the author for sending me an ARC!