Saturday, October 14, 2017

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett Review

Title: Even the Darkest Stars
Author: Heather Fawcett
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Ever the Darkest Stars, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

I found Even the Darkest Stars through a recommendation, and it's been sitting in my stack for a while. I had one last renewal on it, so I decided to put it at the top of my stack and dive in. I wasn't sure what to expect; this is Fawcett's first novel and a fantasy! Nonetheless, I was very excited. I love adventure stories, quests that make me think of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. It's probably the nostalgia factor. Fawcett has penned a well-written, exciting adventure, with a great heroine, witches, ghosts, magic, demons, twists, and turns, and a killer ending that had me screaming in frustration. There were some issues with the world-building, but it was nonetheless an exciting, refreshing debut! One of my favorite books of 2017, and I can't wait for the next book in the series!

Kamzin longs for a life of adventure, and to be an explorer like her late mother. Unfortunately, she is stuck in her tiny home village, Azmiri, forced to learn magic and study to be the next Elder after her father steps down. Her relationship with her sister Lusha is also fraught with tension, and she is desperate to find a way out of her shadow. But her quiet, mundane existence is turned upside down with the arrival of the explorer River Shara, who wants to hire her, not her sister, in order to help him climb the deadly, mysterious summit of Mount Raska. But as Kamzin climbs the mountain, she realizes that all manner of deadly creatures lurks in the sky and snow, and her crewmates are hiding more than their fair share of secrets, and the most deadly of all may mean the destruction of the whole world as she knows it...

I really, really liked this book! What a wonderful debut! First of all, I loved that it was an old-fashioned adventure, complete with mountaineering! The prose was hypnotic and fast-paced, and once I began, I couldn't stop reading! I loved Kamzin, and her sheer will to achieve her dreams, even at the price of leaving her home and family behind. This book is full of strong, powerful women who aren't afraid of going after what they want, regardless of the cost. I also really enjoyed the world-building, which gave a new spin on dragons, demons, witches, and magic, but I really wish that it had been fleshed out a little more; it was hard to follow and at times I couldn't understand the context of it and how it related to the story. I loved the relationship between Kamzin and her family members, especially her forbidding, beautiful older sister Lusha. And the chemistry between Kamzin and her love interest! Oh my God, it was heart-melting, knee-weakening! And the ending! Ugh, I can't wait for the sequel! It wasn't perfect, but it is still one of my favorite books of 2017! The bottom line: A lush, romantic series debut with magic, demons, monsters, and mountains, I loved Even the Darkest Stars! One of the best books of the year! Next on deck: It by Stephen King!

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