Read for: Anticipated Release/Netgalley/Requested Review
Synopsis: "When their father is murdered by imperial soldiers, two siblings set out on opposite paths—one will destroy the Empire forever and the other will save it—in this thrilling new Russian inspired epic fantasy from Jon Skovron.
Sonya is training to be a Ranger of Marzanna, an ancient sect of warriors who have protected the land for generations. But the old ways are dying, and the rangers have all been forced into hiding or killed off by the invading Empire.
When her father is murdered by imperial soldiers, she decides to finally take action. Using her skills as a ranger she will travel across the bitter cold tundra and gain the allegiance of the only other force strong enough to take down the invaders.
But nothing about her quest will be easy. Because not everyone is on her side. Her brother, Sebastian, is the most powerful sorcerer the world has ever seen. And he's fighting for the empire."
My Review: It took me quite a while to get through this book, but it was no fault of the book, it has just been a very busy time and it was hard to focus on an intricate fantasy world. And the world built in this book is intricate with rich religious/mythology systems. I struggled a bit with the terminology, it seems to have a Russian influence and I would have loved an audio book to help with proper pronunciations. The influence also carries over to the setting of the book, it is a dark and cold world filled with snow and forests and frigid tundra; it is a great book to read during the winter months. If you are looking for a darker fantasy that has Death Gods/Goddesses heavily featured, look no further. It includes both the magical influence from the Gods/Goddesses as well as elemental magic. I also really enjoyed the political and cultural push and pull throughout the story, there is definitely a current of unrest and upheaval in this one and it was intriguing to read the shifting views and loyalties. I loved the foreshadowing for the next book that takes place near the end and I cannot wait for book 2 to come out.
My Rating: I struggled a bit to get into this book but once I got going (especially when school started again and the weather cooled off), I really couldn't put this book down. It was an intricate world and magic system but I can see myself really getting invested in these characters. I give it a rating of Four Paws!
I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley. The above is my honest review and opinion.
You can find out more about the Goddess War Series and Jon Skovron on his Goodreads Page or Website.