Mara is the only woman allowed in the League, a fighters guild for men only. She’s dedicated her life to tracking down the man that killed her father. Good news! She’s finally on his trail!
Things started slow. About halfway through they pick up and the story itself gets real good.
What stood out to me about the novel was the world building. As the reader progressed with Mara, they get introduced to two very distinct cultures. Complete opposites, at that. Mara goes from a male-dominated society to a female-dominated one. What surprised me the most was that both of those cultures were at peace with each other. Transitioning between the two takes some crafty deception. Despite that, there’s a general feeling of mutual respect.
I liked the characters and, for the most part, their characterization. Given the constraints of the society created, the women were well-written. They didn’t exactly conform to stereotypes, and that sold me.
There were some things I had difficulty with. Like the frequency of the marriages without knowing a person, but still throwing ‘love’ around. I tried to take them with the cultures of societies present, which made things a little easier. I almost want to say that part of the reason is because things jumped around a lot and so time felt a little distorted. It did serve to further the internal conflict of both the plot and character development. So, there was that. And I can say that I enjoyed the main romantic subplot.
A lot of the story gets told through dialogue. It gets awkward and clunky real easy. Since there was so much, it seemed forced sometimes. Don’t get me wrong–I’m a huge fan of the story construction. There was enough conflict to go around, both internal and external. All the characters got their turn in the spotlight. There wasn’t one specific character that needed saving. There wasn’t one character to do all the saving. Learning curves for fighting and interactions were appropriate, and the development was noticeable.
The reader gets to learn about the characters and world little by little instead of getting told everything all at once. And most of the characters get their fair share. Description lacked in some areas. The narrative broke up in weird ways.
I did like this novel, even if there is editing needed. It doesn’t feel as polished as it should. Even with that, though, the story is one that will gradually suck the reader in and keep them.
Buy it here!