The first book in the series and the debut for the author. I was blown away with the writing, story, complexity of the world she created, number of characters she created and their development. I inhaled the book and the subsequent two books in the series. It looks like there will be more and I cannot wait.
Fajardo’s writing is superb, complex, detailed and it flows beautifully. The story is interesting, complex, consistent, contains many characters, based on original idea and follows several situations in a parallel manner. The characters are consistent, well developed and sometimes contain layers of complexity. They are numerous: K aka Kajhoul, Jaron, Tyran, Jarod aka The Enforcer, Maya, Mikel, Citera, Dirik and some side characters. All of these characters are developed into detail and followed through the stories.
In this book we get introduced to the country of Vanteria and the harsh life of people in the town of Vicaris. Vanteria is ruled by three Shadows, cruel to no end. The situation in Vicaris is not good and it is not getting better. People are divided into races and classes, some living slightly better than others. Due to fate or combination of coincidental events, our main characters unwillingly end up on the same side and working towards the same goal. Their relationships are complicated and not without problems, and I cannot say all their problems get resolved by the end of this or the subsequent books.
I could not stop reading to see what happens next. All three books read like one continuous piece of work. Prologue of each book adds to the information we encounter later and to the layers of complexity of the story and the characters. I honestly do not have a clear idea where the series is going and this thrills me. It is a rare occasion that I meet a book, or a series, or an author this good. All I have is praise.
In the second book, our characters continue with their struggles, but unlike the first book, this book is slightly more relaxed. It is like a short break from struggles for some of the characters. Towards the end, things intensify again, and some of the characters face almost impossible challenges. The story develops, characters become more complex, and the world expands beyond Vanteria and into the haunted woods and the Oasis.
The third book continues with the same intensity the second book finished, and it reaches the culmination of events towards the end. However, it leaves us with the feeling that things are only starting now, and there is this anticipation of the next book. Almost all of our characters are together now, and their interactions become even more interesting. The break from struggles is long over and new challenges begin. The world expands well beyond Vanteria and Oasis into other countries and races. All in all, amazing books, and one of the best series I have ever read. I honestly cannot wait for the next book or books. I am hoping for plurality.
More about K.R. Fajardo is available on Goodreads