Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Series: Shattered Realms (Book 1)
Why?: It's Cinda Williams Chima. Of course I read it.
I went into this book with high expectations because I loved the Seven Realms series so much, and I loved the Heir Chronicles almost as much (still partial to Seven Realms, sorry).
What I didn't know:
This is a spin-off/companion series to Seven Realms. There are characters in there that you should know, and although you can read the series without having read Seven Realms, it helps.
Any of the previous characters names, who they were, or why they were important.
My brain just decided to casually forget all of the names, which made it a rough first couple pages because you either have to remember 100% of the names or none of them, because otherwise it's like an itch that you can't scratch. A very irritating, annoying itch.
This book did not disappoint. I'm still 100% in love with the world, the story was engaging and interesting without throwing a million things at you at once that you then had to try (and fail) to juggle, and I am all for the plot twists/surprises/reveals. I didn't see any of them coming. (Then again, I don't see brick pillars coming either when I walk into them)
I think one of my favorite parts of the book is that the main characters of this book are the children of the main characters in Seven Realms. Easter-eggy me was SO happy. It was like getting to reunite with the characters from Seven Realms while still learning all about these new characters and this new story.
Ash is a pretty fun protagonist to follow. He's like a mini Han! Pretty much all of the sass and the fighting and everything you loved about Han is reflected in Ash too. Then we get Lila and Jenna to share their points of view, and it's even better.
Ash did bug me a bit. Something horrible happens, and you know what he does? Runs off into hiding (okay, that's fine) and NEVER TELLS HIS FAMILY HE'S OKAY. Just lets them think that he's dead. And that irritated me a lot. He was like Han but more selfish I guess, since he becomes focused solely on what he wants, not what is going to really help other people.
But the ending? 100% made up for all of the little things that I didn't like in the book. It was so creative, so original... you can't just pull that ending out of a hat and be like "yup fits great let's go!" I am so excited to start the next one!
Also dragons. Dragons!