Honestly one of the best books I’ve read these past few years, and it was no wonder it got in my Top ’19 Books List. So much action, and intrigue, and suspense – not to mention the humor and the dialogues! Truly magnificent.
This first book in the Ring-Sworn series has everything a mature reader would appreciate. It makes your head spin and lock in place and your heart pumping – So. Many. Plot. Twists! The magic and the way it works is phenomenal. The world-building is seriously exquisite, and I enjoyed that little info about how it’s not a steady universe, but changes when energy storms occur. A world made up of shifting lands, where those storms I just mentioned altered more than mere landscapes – they altered reality itself.
But what really sells this story? The characters! First of all, I wanna warn you all – this is a book for mature readers. There are mentions of sex and other activities in here. Nothing too graphic in action, but even so, Kyrkenall in particular can be quite blunt about some of the human basic instincts. (and we love him for that) There is also LGBTQ representation in the book, and it comes so naturally, not just for the fun of it – let me fangirl again about Kyrkenall, the guy was soooo sweet even in his cynical ways when he talked to that married elder guy about the latter’s husband!
Kyrkenall, as you may have imagined, was a major favorite of mine. I just love sarcastic, cynical assholes who run their mouths and yet still try to save a world that is trying to bury them or worse. He was callous and at times caustic and blasphemous, but, considering his past, that only served to make him even more realistic – plus, he was hilarious! I shipped him with Elenai soooo hard – another favorite, although she was a bit slow to fully get why Kyrkenall was doing all that he did and way too much of a rule-follower. And let’s not forget the easy camaraderie between him and N’lahr – adorable, it made me cry!
By the way, I knew what Denaven thought was going on between Kyrkenall and Rialla was a misunderstanding! Priceless! Look at the mess he created, all because of a stupid assumption!
Another favorite pair – although not a romantic one – was Rylin and Varama. At first, I didn’t like Rylin. Thought he was just some extra, a pretty boy. But like Elenai, he proved to be so much more! If there was one person in this book that had the most growth, I’ll have to say it was Rylin! And Varama, don’t even get me started on her! Everyone was like “Oooh, Varama is so flighty and weird, and in her head all the time, she’s no danger” – but then the woman just ups and shows that not only does she know what’s happening in court around her, she’s also thinking five moves ahead of everyone else! That’s a Boss Bitch right there, and I bow to that woman and her brilliant mind!
All in all, this was a fantastic opening to a series. I sure hope to read of the adventures of the great Altenerai and their other friends. This was just a masterpiece and I can’t recommend it enough!
***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***