Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Edelweiss and Publisher for review
Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.
Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.
But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.
As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.My thoughts:
I do love a book with an empathic heroine. I did like the beginning of this one as she was rare amongst the rare and how the world was set up. I did have problems, however, in the fact that she had NO control over her ability. I would have thought that someone surviving to 17 being this sensitive would have had developed some sort of management even if it was ineffectual in certain situations. It was a reoccurring theme in her characterization and it did bother me after a while.
I didn't hate Sonya's character. I did love that she did what she could to develop her ability to be more useful to her and others and I also enjoyed how she made the best of her situation. I also really liked how loyal she felt to those that would be hurt by any failure on her part. I did like Anton, but he became too frustrating at times and while I think his motivations were honorable, it was also annoying. So, I didn't really feel the romance in this book and things were left unanswered between the two at the end of the book.
There were also several other questions that were left unanswered that I thought were made to be important plot points. This unresolved issue bothered me but I do understand that it is part of a trilogy so I figure the answers will be forthcoming. It still bothers me because it seemed important to this point in the series and this book otherwise actually felt complete.
I give this book 3 stars. Despite the problems I had with the book, I did like the main heroine in the end and can see this series pick up after more questions are answered.
I'm really hoping the next book will be better as well. ;)ReplyDelete
*crosses fingers* :)Delete
Bad enough to feel what others feel physically but can you imagine feeling their emotional pain?ReplyDelete
Great review. I'm with you in that I feel that surely Sonja would have developed some kind of control mechanism.
I get she was new, but not new to what had been going on. Plus, I cannot believe that the gypsies didn't have some techniques to help her.Delete
It sounds like you and I had a lot of the same issues. I hated the romance and I wasn't a fan of Sonya. I think I am done with this series.ReplyDelete
I MAY give the book another try. I've read books like this and they do get better.Delete
I'm going to hold out until I see how book 2 fares. I'm also really surprised that she didn't know how to control her powers after having it for 17 years. Seems like a serious plot hole.ReplyDelete
Wise choice. ...And agreed!Delete
I would have issues with thatReplyDelete
Yep. :) Plus it is YA. I don't think this one would be for you.Delete
Like you, I find it hard to find a book complete when large plot issues are left unresolved. Even though this is a part of a trilogy, I like it best when books can stand on their own but maintain enough of a mystery to have me grabbing for the next book. Anyhow, I think I'll wait to see what you make of the rest of this series before picking it up myself. Thanks for such an honest and helpful review, Melissa!ReplyDelete
I agree with you, but I always seem to root for a better next book. I guess I invested time into it so I want it to get better. :)Delete
Ah yes I can understand because of the heroine and the answers you wanted to have too. Curious t see wat you think of the sequelReplyDelete
I'm a bit curious as well. I've had book start like this and give you what you want later.Delete
Good to hear you found things to keep you invested even with the issuesReplyDelete
I did. :)Delete
I'm really bummed about this one Melissa! I had such high hopes for it since I couldn't love YA Fantasy more, but all the reviews I've read thus far have been pretty lackluster. Shoot! I think I might hold and pick it up once I've gotten my expectations a little more under control:)ReplyDelete
I think that may be one of the reasons why I had such high expectations. I've been reading so much good YA fantasy.Delete
I don't think this one is for me :-((ReplyDelete
Maybe the next book will pick up. Sometimes the set up drags things down.
Karen @For What It's Worth
Yea, probably not unless the second blows you away. :)Delete
It seems the consensus is that this one is only so-so. I haven't seen many rave reviews so I think I'll skip it. At least you didn't hate it!ReplyDelete
It wasn't horrible, but not perfect either.Delete
We of the same boat. I think pretty much all of us who have read this book felt the same ..... Lets hope the sequel is a better one.ReplyDelete
Do see my review of the book here
Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex
Oh I do hope too. I'll check out your review!Delete
It must've been tiring after awhile. I can already sense my burgeoning annoyance. Lol.ReplyDelete
LOL! Yea, may not be for you. :)Delete
It is hard to enjoy a story in you don't feel the romance. Sorry it wasn't a hit for you!ReplyDelete
Hmm, I am not liking the sound of the characters that much.ReplyDelete
Ahh yeah it's hard for me when there are just too many unanswered or resolved bits. Hopefully the next won't have as many grumbly bits for ya.ReplyDelete