On her 16th birthday, Elisa is married off to a king. She is the chosen one of her people, bearing a sacred stone in her navel, but she is barely an adult and has no concept of the dangerous machinations around her that may very well get her killed. She has to find her power, and the inner strength to use it, before it’s too late to save those she cares about most.
After I read this book, I saw there was a lot of controversy around it, which made me sad. I initially bought it after waiting ages to find it locally (and it’s since been region locked on Audible so I can no longer purchase it in South Africa! Thank goodness I found it when I did.)
These are the things I loved about the book:
- It’s beautifully written. The descriptions are rich and I found it easy to get into the main character’s head
- The main character is overweight (the controversy stemmed from her losing some of the weight during the course of the story)
- We often expect our YA heroines to be kickass or nothing at all. She doesn’t start off kickass, but she is always kind and that makes me route for her.
- The main character is not without flaws and weaknesses, she isn’t perfect and accomplished from the get go
- The book is not Eurocentric, and offers a fresh fantasy experience
- The cast of characters is memorable
Some people didn’t enjoy that the main character was religious, which is not something that I found off-putting myself. I see it as part of her character, and her discoveries about flaws in her religion are part of her character development.
All in all, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys well-written YA.