Published on January 2, 2018
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.
No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.
But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
I love the concept of the story—the idea that time and blood are connected and you have the choice (or are pressed to) spend from your allotted lifespan to purchase things. This premise set up some interesting stakes straight from the opening of the story. And Jules is immediately a likeable character since what she wants most is to save the person dearest to her, at any cost to herself.
I wasn’t impressed with her infatuation with Rowan Gerling. Yeah, okay, they were childhood playmates, but what’s admirable about him besides his good looks? I kind of kept waiting for the shoe to drop and for Jules to discover some deep fault in him. I liked the other characters, though, from the stable hand Jules recognizes from her past to her best friend in the village even to Ina Gold.
In terms of the plot, I felt like there were a couple threads that got dropped, or else where I missed their connection to the larger story. Jules carries a drawing that belonged to her father which she believes must be her mother. At one point she seems to realize the drawing’s significance, but never shares what that significance is. And it never comes up again as the story resolves.
Everless does have some interesting twists, though, and those kept me reading for sure. I needed to know what was going on with Rowan’s big, scowling brother Liam, and to understand Jules’s connection with the sorceress. All those questions had me charging through the tale all the way to the end.
Medieval-style dystopian fans (think The Selection by Kiera Cass) do not want to miss this one. If you’re a fan of Nadine Brandes’s A Time to Die, or The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, you will love the strong heroine, time-centered story, and forbidden magic elements of Everless.
No real racial descriptions. All characters appear straight.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Brief, mild profanity used very rarely.
Brief kissing between a boy and girl.
A sorceress created a system in which time and iron and blood are bound. So that one’s time (lifespan) can be traded as currency for goods and services, like rent or food.
To extract time, a specially trained person cuts one’s palm and captures the blood in a vial. Time-letting is used as a punishment for a woman who’s accused of a grave crime.
Jules, the princess and another handmaiden go to a tavern and drink alcohol as a last night out before the princess marries.