I still don’t know what to think of this book. Did I love it? Did I hate it? I just…I don’t know. Truthfully, it wasn’t my usual fictional fare. There was loads of villainy and very little romance, and when I do endeavor to pick up a YA fantasy, there must be romance. As is typical of me, I didn’t really connect with Meg or with the writing…
But I couldn’t put it down.
I can’t really give any negative feedback beyond “this wasn’t quite my cup of tea,” so it’s no fault of the book’s that I wasn’t 100% charmed. However, I was definitely surprised by how much I was sucked into it. The first few chapters were kind of meh, and after reading some other reviews (which were positive, actually), I wasn’t certain I’d fully enjoy the rest of it anyway. But I couldn’t give up on it (not when I had a review due). I plopped down on the couch, curled my feet up beside me, and committed to reading a chapter, and another, and another, and another, until I more or less made myself stop reading.
Even though I wasn’t really feeling Meg, I didn’t dislike her. She was just a kid, and unlike most heroines I have to put up with, she wasn’t the kind that was snarky and do-bad. She was realistic (as realistic as you can be in the situation she was in 😅) and had authentic ups-and-downs. There were some elements that were kind of flip-floppy to me about her character, and I couldn’t really get a read on her personality, but I admired her determination, her strong moral compass, and her inner strength.
Proce and Von were easily two of my favorite characters, and I loved watching how their relationship with Meg grew and changed. The rest of the secondary and minor characters were very well-written and intriguing, with backstories and desires of their own.
But the character that shined the most was Kalmus, let’s face it. I knew going into the story that he couldn’t be trusted, but he was just so well-written that you couldn’t really tell what was legit or not, what his intentions were, etc. He was just an extremely good villain. Except the scene at the end was just so weird and kinda ruined the vibes.
The world of the Croppers and Regents was very well-developed, but I feel like there were some issues that could’ve been clarified. For spoilers’ sake, I won’t give details, but adultery, bigamy, and fornication were three such issues. They were never explored beyond vague mentions in the book, but they still existed, and I wanted to know what the protocol was for such in the fantasy world. (Highlight for spoilers: Why would Elia be so laissez-faire about her husband marrying Meg even though they were still married? Was bigamy allowed? Was adultery not an issue? Why wasn’t Meg concerned about how Kalmus used women?)
Otherwise, I loved how many details were woven in and how the cultures were explored! The plot kept me on my toes, and the twist at the end was 👌. I do feel like the ending was a little too rushed (I just plain wanted more of her acclimating to life in her earth again + her relationship with Andrew!!!), but that can be overlooked.
There were some slight allegorical details I noted (I probably imagine them by this point 😅), and some great themes of sacrifice + how you see others + what it means to serve others that I really appreciated as well!
All in all, it wasn’t my kind of story by a long shot, but I still enjoyed it, which I think speaks for just how good of a story it is! Minus a few pet peeves, I was hooked from a little after the beginning to the end! The premise is so unique, and Nelson put a new spin on classic clichés to create a captivating and all-around well-done story!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary review copy from Celebrate Lit Publicity. All opinions expressed are my own.
~ the book ~
In a strange part of the forest, the divide between worlds grows thin.
After the accident, Meg would do anything to wake her best friend from his deadly coma. At least, that’s what she whispered into the woodland shadows. She never imagined her wish would trap her in a gray other-earth, void of any color.
Meg’s vibrant humanity is a priceless artifact in the gray kingdom, coveted by the royal court. All she wants to do is find a way back home. Until she discovers the other-earth contains healing powers that can save her friend. But only if Meg becomes what the gray people need—a human bride for Kalmus, the powerful king of the capital city.
With her heart torn between earths, Meg’s choices may cost more than she knows.
~ the author ~
Rachelle Nelson grew up reading fantasy novels and getting her clothes muddy in the pine forests of Idaho. These days, she still loves hiking through mountains and libraries, though she is a bit less fond of mud. She doesn’t write true stories, but she writes about truth. When Rachelle is not reading and writing, she sings in a band with her talented husband, who makes her happier than should be legal. If you like adventures, good food, and honest conversations, you are her favorite kind of person.
~ the tour ~
Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, August 17
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 18
Texas Book-aholic, August 19
Through the Fire Blogs, August 20 (Author Interview)
Christina’s Corner, August 20
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 21
Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 22
The Book Club Network, August 24
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 25
Blogging With Carol, August 26
Labor Not in Vain, August 27
Simple Harvest Reads, August 28 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Beauty in the Binding, August 29 (Author Interview)
Raining Butterfly Kisses, August 29
Of Blades and Thorns, August 30
~ the giveaway ~
You didn't skim the rest of this post just to get to this part, now did you? 👀
It's time for everyone's favorite part of Celebrate Lit tours...the giveaway! Rachelle is giving away the grand prize package of a hardback copy of Sky of Seven Colors (I'm sorry, but who doesn't need a hardback copy of this absolutely gorgeous gem???), a $50 Amazon gift card, a signed bookplate, a set of 3 bookish themed waterproof stickers, and a bookmark with exclusive Sky of Seven Colors character art!!
To enter, click the button below...AND be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Have you ever read a book outside your comfort zone? Was it a hit or a miss? What do you love most about fantasy worlds? How would you felt if you were transported to a world devoid of color?
I'd love to hear all about it below! 😊
(Pst! My Amazon links are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission off of any purchases made through that link at no extra cost to you!)