Thank you to Edelweiss for providing me with the e-arc, but I went ahead and waited until the book was out to buy it, to own, since it was so beautiful. I ended up with a purple sprayed edges copy which was signed!
Anyhow, since The Crown’s Game was such a super great book, I think I expected something of the same caliber. Unfortunately, this one was not on the same level, at all.
This book started out promising — Wolf and Spirit as two apprentice warriors who discover a secret plot to overthrow the Empress. Spirit is good at magic while Wolf is skilled at combat. They encounter whole new sort of magic that could threaten their land. They’re not taken very seriously, so they take matters into their own hands.
The premise was really cool. I loved the idea of “geminas” where one person is bonded to another and able to feel what they feel. The magic system was cool and original. I love stories centering around Japanese culture. The world reminded me a lot of an anime, but as much as I tried to picture it as one, it all fell away as the story progressed.
Everything felt…convienent and forced. I absolutely did not care for the characters. The situations were a bit cheesy and had that done-before feeling. The AHA moments did not draw a reaction from me. The side characters were brief and their moments seemed just the same, even though one character had a huge scene that should have affected me. Don’t get me started on the love triangle. WHAT? I know it was probably created for conflict to carry over into the next book, but it felt weird and necessary, and I hated it. The slow burn with Wolf and Spirit was enough. Her unwillingness to see Wolf as a romantic partner and him fighting his attraction held enough conflict to hold its own.
The monikers were awful. Fairy, Broomstick…UGH
The book moved past scenes too quickly. I felt like there was never enough time to ground myself in one spot.
I believe my expectations were simply too high. This is one of those books that I will forget the next day. I’m so sad because I wanted to love it, but alas.