Read: 28th May 2017 – 29th May 2017
Spoilers in review: No
When Astra and her best friend impulsively save the life of the Princess, Nisha, they get involved in trying to prevent the murder of the King. This requires breaking, entering, escaping, and magic. Lots of magic.
I really enjoyed reading this book! It didn’t take me very long to read (I believe that it’s ~50k words long which is relatively short for a novel, especially a fantasy one) which was perfect because I am supposed to be revising for exams so I didn’t feel as guilty about picking this up as I would have done if it were longer.
One thing I adored about this novel was the chapter titles. That seems like an odd thing to enjoy, but they were very funny. The lead girls, Astra and Nisha, are also great. Astra is upbeat and a bit snarky, while Nisha is friendly and direct about what she means and wants. Astra’s best friend, Balagtas, is almost like a father figure to her and it’s obvious that they care deeply for one another.
A whole fantasy world is set up in this novel! Time isn’t wasted on exposition, which I’m grateful for. This does mean that some things are left unexplored, however these are things that can be taken further in the sequel (I believe that Alcobendas is currently working on one).
The reason why I haven’t given this 5 stars is because at times the writing style came across a little amateurish. Specifically, the tendency to refer to a character in the middle of a scene by their height, or if they’re tired, or as ‘the [insert speciality] mage’. This had the same effect as if characters were constantly being referred to by hair colour, that being that it draws attention to that trait and breaks the flow of the scene. It would have been better in almost all instances to just use the characters’ names or pronouns. But this is the only problem I had with this book! I loved everything else about it!
In short, this is definitely worth a read and I highly recommend it!
Review originally written in 2017