When an explosion during a riot leaves Asa’s sister in a coma, she vows to do what she must to bring her back. As the youngest daughter in a royal house on the brink of collapse, her choices are desperate. She impersonates her sister in a marriage alliance to the heir to another ruling family, a boy with tragic secrets of his own.
Every time Asa thinks she has made things better, she’s met with the bitter realization that she’s in fact only made her sister’s and her family’s situation more dire. War could come at any moment. War which will destroy them all. Asa scrabbles to right each new domino that falls, hoping against hope that she can get ahead of the catastrophe enough to spare those she loves most: her sister, her family, her kingdom, and unexpectedly, her new husband.
This book is one of those fantastic ones that left me amazed at the way the plot twisted in on itself. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, it was like the author flipped my whole perception upside down or revealed a secret that completely changed the game. The rabbit hole of political intrigue went deeper and deeper until I didn’t think there was any way there could be light at the end of that tunnel.
I loved the characters. I felt like each of them could have walked off the page. I liked the relationship and conflict between Asa and her father and Asa and her sister Emmie best. Super complex relationships, really getting into that tug-of-war between love and hate. I loved the way her relationship with Eagle unfolded, too. I am least crazy about his name, but absolutely adored him other than that.
Another thing that I’m a total sucker for is a really dense artistic narrative style. In a response to a question I asked her via Goodreads, author Tessa Elwood talks about being inspired by Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi in her development of the raw emotional style in Inherit the Stars. She did an amazing job. There were passages I read multiple times just because I liked them too much to read them only once before moving on. An example, you ask? Here’s one of my favorites:
“He steps with me. Hands catching my cheeks, closing in until the room disappears and I taste him. Wide lips and lost places. Tangled forests of pine nuts and rivers and the way the air sings before the sun rises. His fingers chase dawn into my hair.”
Love it. Love this book. Cannot wait for the next one, which it sounds like will be out around this time next year.
Mild profanity used moderately.
Brief battle violence, references to explosions. Asa’s sister is injured in a riot and remains in a coma. Asa has to cut into her husband’s shoulder, he then has to cut into hers. He tells her how he earned his scars and of a fellow soldier’s injuries. Some of that is a bit wince-worthy more in word choice than length of the description.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.