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  • Excellent intro to the series!

    I actually quite enjoyed this book! I found it incredibly well-written with strong characters and a steady, interesting plot. I really enjoyed the religious aspects and the questions posed throughout the novel. I think the exploration of the Church and God, and the corruption that has plagued this institution throughout time, was really well done - it was fictional yet not, and I enjoyed that mix. The beginning of this book sort of throws us right into the story so it did take me some time to get my bearings and figure out what was going on and who was who. Despite this, it did get off to a slower start. One thing I will mention (and this is really more a personal preference than anything else) is that characters were referred to by their first and last names throughout the book. So in one paragraph it's Malachi, and in another it's Thorne for example. While that wouldn't necessarily be a problem for 1 or 2 characters, I found that it took me awhile to figure out who was who when this happened with many different characters. Again, this is really more a personal preference and I'm sure there were other readers who had no trouble keeping up! I really liked the main male lead, Malachi. I found his journey from stout believer in the Church to questioning of its practices very realistic. His emotions were laid bare, and I enjoyed watching him work through them all to come to his final decisions. I also really liked the supporting characters - Warner, Cabbott, and Traugott in particular. Malachi's "sidekicks" had me laughing out loud at times, which I love in a book! And I was completely surprised at the twist with Traugott's character. We also had Teska Vaun. I liked her character as well, but I found that the romance between her and Malachi (thought not fully fleshed out in this book) was a bit rushed. I sort of felt like one moment they were sworn enemies and the next they were questioning whether or not they loved each other. I feel like this may get a bit more attention in the next book, so I'm interested to see where Kingrea takes this. The plot really picks up in the last half of the book, getting much more fast-paced and bringing in several different elements. While I did enjoy the entire reading experience, I found that I flew through the end much more quickly than the beginning. I feel like this is often the case with fantasy books however, as there is alot of world-building and character development to get through. So again, I'm interested to see how this pans out in the next book. Overall, I found this to be a great introduction to what I'm sure will develop into a great series (a trilogy if I'm not mistaken). The writing style is excellent, and the world-building is what I expect from a high fantasy novel. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys more of a heavy read, with lots of plot elements, and great character development.

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  • Blew me away

    Wow, I don't even know where to start. The imagery, the nuance, the characters, the world-building, it all blew me away. I got wrapped up in the story right from the fiery opening. I really wasn't sure how well a blending of a post-apocalyptic world and the witch hunts of the Middle Ages would work out, and I was blown away. The characters are very complex, and watching Thorne face down many adversaries and change over the course of the book was fascinating. I absolutely hope to read more set in this same world!

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