COVER DESIGN: Elsa Kroese
Llandry Sanfaer is a talented jeweler who suffers from severe social phobia, her only friends being her parents and her pet. But when she begins to make jewelry from some stones she found in a hidden cave, the luxury of a quiet life is quickly taken from her. Everyone wants a piece of her jewelry, and some are so desperate that they would kill for it.
Welcome to the Seven Realms, three in perpetual light, three in perpetual dark, and one with both day and night. The world is complex and fascinating, the people in it well developed and non-human in many ways. The book provides a comfortable sense of space and environment without dwelling for long on descriptions or back story, and the writing itself is smooth and enjoyable. The plot continues to develop throughout the book, free of holes and discrepancy and always with subtlety. Likewise, the magic system is both original and reliable. The only thing in the story that might be considered inconsistent is a sudden and seemingly out of place profanity.
The number of characters could be a bit overwhelming for those who don't remember every detail as they read, especially since characters often use nicknames or switch between first and last names, but the characters are consistent within themselves. In the same way, the various places, flora, and fauna could be difficult to keep track of, especially for readers who aren't accustomed to reading fantasy, but there is never inconsistency. There's a glossary in the back to help readers keep track of unique plants, animals, and places.
This is not a thrilling, swashbuckling, high anticipation read, rather, it's an unfolding of characters and possibilities, a pleasure to enjoy.
Recommended for those who love intricate fantasy worlds, likable protagonists, and professional writing, and who don't need a constant sense of impending doom to keep them reading.
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R.A. White is the author of the Kergulen Series. Find her books, her blog, and other fun stuff at rawhitebooksandmore.weebly.com.