Read for: Recently Added/ Anticipated Release
Synopsis: "Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.
Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest.
But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, beloved author Marie Rutkoski returns with an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves."
My Review: I was a big fan of the Winner's Curse trilogy and so was really excited to seen a new book from her. I struggled quite a bit with this one in the beginning, a lot of the world is left a mystery and I found that a bit confusing. Granted that played into the line "it is what it is" but too much was left unexplained. I guess I would have liked to know the rules of the Half-Kith Ward and more about the societal climate. With that said this was an adventure in all is not as it seems. I really enjoyed Sid's character, she was spunky and knew how to play her hand just right. Nirrim's character confused me, she never did what I expected, she was trusting and loyal to a fault. The characters in this book, much like Rutkoski's previous books, are a bit morally grey, sometimes doing the right thing, sometimes doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, and sometimes just making bad choices. The ending was definitely different than I was expecting and I am very curious to see where the next book takes it.
My Rating: I struggled a bit with this one, I think I had different expectations for it after loving her previous series so much. I do like how it connected the mythology and gods from the previous series with this book. Maybe morally grey characters aren't my cup of tea, but I think this story does have a lot more to be told with another book. For now I give this one a rating of Three Paws.