4 / 5 STARS
The tale of Myranda Celeste, a young woman orphaned by a century long war, and her chance discovery of a fallen soldier's priceless cargo. The find will change her life, sending her on an adventure of soldiers and rebels, wizards and warriors, and beasts both noble and monstrous. Each step will bring her closer to the truth of her potential, of the war, and of the fate of her world.
I really enjoyed this book on the whole. The world and its locations are beautiful and have a good amount of depth that makes them believable. I was immediately drawn to the main character Myranda, and respected not just her ‘sympathising’ views in a land torn by war, but also her courage to remain so independent and unique among so much prejudice and oppression. She is resourceful and strong-willed, and just a very likeable character on the whole. In the first third of the book I was a little disappointed by the amount of times she seemed to fall unconscious, but most of that was explained well later on so I won’t let that cloud this review.
There were quite a few other characters in this book’s cast which I liked as well, Myn the dragon in particular. She had me laughing so many times, and the scene where she is learning to fly had me smiling the whole way through. The titular Deacon is another great character; his enthusiasm and awkwardness offered brilliant dashes of comic relief where it was needed, but could still hold the story and add to it. But I loved the character Leo too. His persona and character arc is so twisting and turning, all the scenes including him sucked me into every word; and even in the parts where he’s not there, I kept wondering about him in the back of my mind.
The main thing that bugged me about this book was the fact that there were no chapters. On the one hand, it was a sort-of refreshing change from most books. But I felt sometimes it was easy to get lost because there were very few ‘natural breaks’ between the story, except for the occasional hash-tag, and even they weren’t spaced evenly. I did enjoy the scenes with General Trigorah and the other villains, but I felt some of them were a bit bland and didn’t really show the capacity of her threat to Myranda. There were no sizeable battles either; the conflicts that do occur are few and far between, and the lack of them sometimes make the story seem a bit slow as we follow Myranda through her trials and tribulations. The amount of twists and great descriptions make up for that though, and I’m also bearing in mind that this is the first of a trilogy, so hopefully my questions will be answered in the next books.
I’ve definitely become a fan of Joseph Lallo, and I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the series as soon as I can!