I CAN’T EVEN fully tell you how much this book hit me.
I’m writing this immediately after finishing it so bear with me if I jump around with my thoughts.
This WILL NOT contain spoilers but it will talk about certain situations and relationships.
First of all let me give you the blurb and info on the book.
“OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.
Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.”
This book had me from the very beginning. I had read a sample before the book even released and I was like I NEED this book, so I told all my friends and they all got approved for ARCs but I did not. I did get the finished book but life got busy and I never had time to sit down and read it. Today I picked it up knowing my son would take the entire day to clean him room so I’d have time to read because it was raining and I couldn’t mow the lawn like I planned.
So I start reading and immediately I was sucked into this world. The writing was absolutely amazing and I FELT everything Eelyn felt from the very beginning. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I had tears just streaming down my face the majority of this book because the pain that Eelyn felt was so raw and real. I’m not close to my siblings or the large majority of my family, I literally only had three family members at my wedding. and this book is based on the loyalty and love you feel for your family, your clan, and then the people in your life who become family. Maybe because I don’t have many family members who really care about is why this book made me cry so much or maybe it was just HOW good the writing really was but either way I FELT this story, every word.
This is the kind of book I could honestly see myself getting a tattoo for, that’s how much I loved it and feel it. This book has a badass female lead but she’s also broken, hurt and alone as well as very vulnerable at times. These two things combined didn’t make her seem weak to me at all but stronger for wiling herself to push through. I LOVED Eelyn as a character, I felt like I was Eelyn deep down inside of myself.
She doesn’t live and easy life and I felt that because although very different I didn’t live an easy life but like Eelyn I didn’t give up no matter how much I wanted to at times, no matter how much it hurt. Then you see her fight for everything and everyone she believes in with every single fiber of her body. I just can’t even express how much I respect her as a character.
At one point in the book I did have to put it down to ask a friend if there was rape in the book because she comes close to being raped twice in the book but my friend reassured me it didn’t happen. So if that’s a trigger for you then let me know and I can definitely look up the pages it happens on for you and you can skip those parts and still enjoy the rest of the book. I wasn’t sure if I could handle the first scene but with my friend promising she made it ok I was able to read it ok. They luckily are very short scenes and not overly detailed or graphic. So I was glad they were short and nothing actually happened that I couldn’t handle.
But the characters were amazing, all unique and had strong voices so nobody blurred together. The writing itself was colorful and descriptive. I love the language she added in there to really bring life to each of the clans and their rituals. It was a truly amazing book that I’m sure I’ll reread over and over. My only fear is that book two won’t live up to book one. But I loved it all. The world created was so realistic in my mind, like I was really living it. I loved it. I feel so drawn to the characters and the stories and I just want to hold them in my heart and discover all their secrets.
I think some broken part of me needed this book. The part that will never fully heal but knows I survived and I have to keep surviving.
I highly recommend it and I couldn’t be happier that I finally read it. I finished it in less than 8 hours.
Happy reading- Bookish Mom