I received this free digital ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
NOT ALL ARE FREE.
NOT ALL ARE EQUAL.
NOT ALL WILL BE SAVED.
Our world belongs to the Equals aristocrats with magical gifts and all commoners must serve them for ten years.
But behind the gates of England s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.
A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.
Abi is a servant to England s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of their noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family s secrets might win her liberty but will her heart pay the price?
A boy dreams of revolution.
Abi s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.
And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.
He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate or destroy?”
Too Many POVs
Anyone who follows my blog knows how finicky I am when it comes to multiple point of views and this book is a prime example of what not to do. I understand it’s written in third person. However, that does not give the author the option to jump around to whatever character they want.
Some characters got a substantial number of chapters while other characters got only one chapter. Perhaps I could’ve overlooked these single-chapter characters if they’re POV had offered anything to the plot, but they didn’t. It’s because of the constant jumping and inconsistencies in POVs that I didn’t connect with a single character in the story.
I spent 60% of this book wondering 1) what the plot was and 2) what the heck was going on. There is no obvious plot in the entire first half of the book. Even when the plot did develop in the last quarter of the book (or more like the last two chapters), too much was left unexplained. So, not only was there no saving grace, but it didn’t help that I didn’t care about anyone or anything by this point.
Sub-par World Building
I am really disappointed in this book because it’s fantasy and fantasy is known for it’s extravagant and mesmerizing world building. Yet, this did not even come close. The only world building in this entire story was the magic and even that was poorly explained and skimmed over.
Time, that’s a thing?
The timeline in this book is linear, but garbage. Large sections of time are just… skipped over! This only works if it’s implemented into the story appropriately and done for a reason. However, the time jumps in this book did neither. They were just there and they were blatant and they were meant to act as a reason for the characters changing/growing, which it didn’t because I never got to know the characters in the first place.