This was somewhere between 3 and 3.5 so I’m rounding up to four stars.
This story tells of tough topics like racism, sexism, xenophobia, inequality, patriarchy, abuse, and trauma. The story was heavy at times, but Deka along with her warrior sisters and brothers give you hope that the world is not entirely broken.
I was uncertain how I’d feel about this book because feminist books have not sat well with me in the past. So it’s important to mention here that I’m pleased to read a feminist book that doesn’t bash men and indeed promotes equality.
The main character, while struggling to come to terms with who and what she is, Deka progressed well throughout the story; her character’s development was believable. I liked the side characters, and they support her lead well. Also, it’s refreshing to read a young adult book where the romance doesn’t completely take over the story.
As for the fantasy elements, they were familiar, and the hook for me. The whole time reading this, I kept thinking back to my World of Warcraft days. I especially loved the shapeshifters and the pets. The deathshrieks reminded me of the Sha from Mists of Pandaria and White Hands reminded me of a monk. I think that’s why I liked this one so much.
As for the plot, things seemed a bit unsteady, and at the end, when the truth is unraveling, it all happened so quickly that I was scratching my head a bit confused. I wish it would have been a little slower-paced while bringing all the pieces together. I appreciate that the ending wasn’t a gnawing cliffhanger, and this first book of the series can be read as a standalone.