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    A lovely, empowering tale.

    I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a GREAT book. A GREAT series. I wish I could give it more than five stars on Goodreads/Amazon because it deserves it. It’s among my favorite books read this year, for sure. Clayton has built a lovely, vibrant, and wide world here in this book. Right from the start, you feel like you’re enveloped in a real place, and never once do you doubt if it could be real. That’s hard to do in fantasy. The same can be said for her characters. Every single one of them is alive and unique and three-dimensional. They each have their own beautiful and ugly qualities, just like real-life people. Tallis, while ever the heroine, as typical for this genre, is incredibly well-rounded. She stumbles and falls, but she doesn’t do it in a way that is hokey or trite. She’s the light in the story — the character who brings everyone together because she sees the good in people, almost to a fault, like even in her father who she still wants to see even when he has continually turned his back on her again and again and again. Her three friends are vastly different and would probably never be friends if it weren’t for Tallis’ uniting influence. Donovan is Tallis’ rock, and it’s fitting he’s the knight. He’s both strong in strength and in heart. Without Donovan, who knows if she would have made it through her early life. While he is often stubborn on their journey, he is always tender when it comes to Tallis, and it’s heartwarming and sweet. Tomas is a sensitive, intelligent heart who teaches Tallis that she’s not so different after all. He brings out the real humanity in her that she thinks she can never truly have, and I love that about him. Rosslyn is probably my favorite character. She’s the perpetual free spirit, governed only by her Galon Sipsiwn but, still, she’s forever loyal to Tallis because she loves her. I love her sense of humor. It provides the perfect counterbalance to the serious nature of the rest of this novel. I absolutely cannot wait to read the rest of this series. I eagerly await the release of the upcoming third book (and possibly more?!), and when it is released, it will be bumped to the top of my reading list. If you’re a fan of fantasy, pick this up. And if you’re not typically, pick it up anyway. Try something new. Expand your horizons. It’s good for you.
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