For once I managed to find a book which is around Asian culture and more importantly Chinese culture.
It was so hard to even find this book, like insanely hard. I did enjoy certain parts of it but it wasn’t amazing nor blew my mind. But the details and worldbuilding itself had been lush and very wonderful.
The main characters are a little bland. I did like Skybright but she didn’t impress me nor wow me. She may have struck a chord but she just wasn’t interesting to me.
I guess it’s a taste issue, I always prefer heroines with pasts or back story concerning it. Rather than having everything as empty as a slip of paper. I always preferred it.
Zhen Ni actually proved interesting, for she was actually lesbian. She loved Lan but in the end she didn’t end up with her. It was quite reasonable and actually poignant when in those eras where even the men couldn’t marry a women they favoured rather it was matchmaked for them.
I feel as though some diversity was here, since most of the characters were Asian and had to be Asian. There was another form of it.
Then I come to Kai Sen, who was another bland character. Obsessed with his birth mark which in the end was actually useless and not even important. Had that feeling and actually proved to have some entertainment for me.
Most of the other characters are quite forgettable honestly. But I did like one particularly, Lady Yuan and her talk about duty. As well as Stone.
This book certainly isn’t just Asian in the culture but the beliefs as well. As most out family standing above all else, even if it means you have to marry someone you don’t like. The way it was portrayed here was indeed representative of it as Zhen Ni is from a rich family and needed to do so. Skybright had more of a choice even though at the end of the day she would follow her to her new household.
The marriage customs here made sense and truly felt Chinese filled with culture and lore. As for Skybright’s identity which was never explained well but kept a mystery, it must be a loose end for the next book.
As for Stone I actually liked him, whenever he appeared to Skybright to his regret of leaving her mother alone. As well as his moments and thought sacrifice. It was refreshing and filled with loophole finding. As a sacrifice may not be one of just a person but something more like Skybright’s freedom.
The writing was just so descriptive and long and very draggy. I feel as though it need not be so long and more could have went to the plot when it was 200+ page book. I’m serious. The story itself could have been expanded more.
The ending, it was actually quite surprising. Everything ended on a bittersweet note, everyone lived but none ended up together.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Reading the sequel: Probably yes
Would recommend if you enjoy Asian Fantasy, Chinese Culture with good worldbuilding. Also, if you love romance with bittersweet endings.