Sierra has a despised and forbidden gift — she raises power from the suffering of others. Enslaved by the King’s Torturer, Sierra escapes, barely keeping ahead of Rasten, the man sent to hunt her down. Then she falls in with dangerous company: the fugitive Prince Cammarian and his crippled foster-brother, Isidro.
But Rasten is not the only enemy hunting them in the frozen north and as Sierra’s new allies struggle to identify friend from foe, Rasten approaches her with a plan to kill the master they both abhor. Sierra is forced to decide what price she is willing to pay for her freedom and her life …
I was pleasantly surprised by this novel, which is the first in a fantasy series titled Children of the Black Sun. Spurrier has perfected the art of illustrating a fantasy world without killing 100 trees to do it. The reader is immersed in this cold, depressing, unrelenting world from page one, and although I was a little confused at first and would’ve like a little more explanation, the rest of the book helped the background unfold.
The characterisation and mood are the strengths of this novel, with the main characters (Sierra, Isidro, and Cam) seeming like heroes and villains at the same time. I’d recommend this book for anyone who loves Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. This book would do well with a younger (but mature) audience, although readers be warned that there’s quite graphic torture detailed in this text.
Spurrier paints the cold, bleak world with ease. I felt chills when reading the book, and the characters’ experiences with the unrelenting winter reminded me of north of the wall in Game of Thrones.
My Score: 9/10
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