This had been one book that had everything I needed. A little on romance, a lot of intrigue, and a lot on the possibility of those with magic ruling over them. All the while exploring a horrible yet not completely terrible situation for humans without any powers.
I would say that the slaves here have terrible lives, they give up a decade of their lives. It does sound pretty horrible yet at the same time, it also sounds pretty reasonable. At least they aren’t bound for life. They are only bound for a decade. But the end removes almost any possibility of it being changed, perhaps it would be even worse.
And you know what, there wasn’t a main character. Everyone was. There was a stake for everyone here. Such as Abigail, Luke, even the Equals. They are all rather well developed with it being neither black nor white. There are those who enjoy and view slavedays as being fair. There are times where Equals also try to change things.
Even though this book sets everything up, and at the same time takes the conflict to a whole new level for book 2. It broke me and let me enjoy the beauty of the series at the same time. How dark and bleak it was for them. And sometimes that it wasn’t as illogical as it seemed. And a failed rebellion.
All the while showing Equals who sympathise with them. Showing someone willing to do anything to free the Equals. I would say that Silyen does seem sympathetic to them but I would reserve my judgements or perhaps he is simply biding his time.
There is no main romance. Just a little here, a little there. Somewhere or anywhere. Sprinkled throughout the characters.
I would say that this surprisingly have been a really good book, and even managed to force me to finish it within two days without stopping. All the whole providing a horrible situation, only to have it worsened at the end. And having intrigue play out so well along with the main villain.
So I would recommend this to those who like fantasy with a very bleak setting, and with little on the romance. All the while providing neither black nor white side to everything just grey. To me, this was absolutely perfect.
Rating: 5 out of 5