Genre: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Balzer + Bray (5.15.2018)
eARC, 512 pages
They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.
The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.
With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.
What a fabulous high fantasy full of intrigue, secrets, and lies! The concept was awesome. There were magists that controlled/enforced magic and made spells, yet “wilder” magic was outlawed and punishable by death. View Spoiler »And how very interesting that the mage’s magic was actually wilder magic! The very thing they fought so hard against! « Hide Spoiler
I freaking LOVED the drakes! And Kate’s ability to control and speak to animals! Those were my absolute favorite parts. As soon as the nightdrakes were mentioned, I was hooked. I wanted to see more of them! And I was not disappointed! Kind of sad that they were bad, though. View Spoiler »I kept hoping Kate would eventually control them; so I was a little disappointed that when she did, it was just to lead them into slaughter or for a diversion. I kept hoping that they would team up! I don’t like when dragons are the bad guys :( « Hide Spoiler
Sadly I didn’t care much for the romance. I think perhaps because Corwin and Kate were old flames, so we didn’t see the build up of the romance. When a romance already exists I have trouble connecting to it. I need the feels of falling for one another! I couldn’t quite connect to them I’m afraid.
I can’t say much else about this without spoiling anything, because there is a lot of mystery surrounding certain things. For some reason this book had a very similar feel to Defiance by C.J. Redwine, even though they’re totally different. So if you enjoyed Defiance (I did!), I definitely recommend this one!
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5