I’ve been waiting to read this forever and finally got around to it. I rated this young adult standalone a 4.4/5 stars. It was all in one point of view in first person past tense. Also, thank you for the family tree diagram in the beginning!
At the beginning of this story about duty, desire, and destiny were introduced to Bryn as she goes “home” for the first time after living with her great aunt abroad for her first 18 years. She doesn’t recall her cousin when he picks her up from the harbor and I’m unsure if her homecoming is a positive or negative for her. Yet the last sentence of this first chapter is super compelling: “Bastian was a city of stories. But not all of them had happy endings.”
Chapter two sets the ominous vibe that I always crave. The beautifully dark prose are keeping me in anticipation of what I need to be nervous of. Why is her family famous? Why was she taken away for 18 years? Why did her parents die in an event “gone wrong?” Why does no one cross Henrik. Who’s room is she staying in? Why is there a missing portrait on the wall?
At the end of chapter 3 the start has still been a bit slow. I want to care more about Bryn but I don’t have a great reason to yet. I’m excited about Ezra and any possible romance there.
Her cousin, Murrow, says that a Bryn is good at “the game.” But WHAT is the game? Is it just appearance and making a reputation to be an established family name or is it something more?
Oooh in chapter 18, that almost moment!
In chapter 19 I couldn’t tell how much Henrik knew, what he was lying about or exaggerating in his info to get Bryn thinking a certain way.
Eden’s Tea House with the dice is a brilliant idea!!!
I had assumed Sariah’s letter would’ve held more of a twist.
The ending was satisfying but not as impactful emotionally as I had expected. The author could’ve done some real damage there but gave it to us lightly. I still highly recommend this novel. I’m unsure what sub genre to place it in other than young adult since I expected fantasy but there was no fantasy elements in it.