Bleak, the town drunk, is hiding a terrible secret; She can read people’s minds, a power that will get her killed if anyone finds out. All Bleak wants is a cure to her ability, but when the king’s soldiers take her prisoner it soon becomes clear she’ll have to embrace the unexplored depths of her power to stay alive.
Set in a mediaeval fantasy world with magical elements. The world is rich in detail, clearly described, and visual from start to finish. There are several different races within the world, and each is unique and well thought out.
Bleak was adopted at a young age and, with no magical parents, was left to deal with her mind reading ability as best she knew how. She struggles with a drinking problem throughout, and we see evidence of how her past greatly haunts her. A character flawed in these ways makes for a refreshing read, and despite her vices, Bleak is caring (if prickly around the edges), and has a strong drive to do the right thing.
As enjoyable as Bleak is, this book’s strength is in the secondary characters. Aside from the King, who I struggled to connect with on a more meaningful level, each character has motive, dimension, and an emotional tie to the plot and subplots, creating a truly riveting read.
Professionally edited and crafted, structurally tight and balanced. From the first chapter the author’s skill is evident, and we continue reading her excellent story knowing we are in safe hands.
A must read for YA Fantasy fans who love a vibrant tale, believable characters, and a high-stakes plot.
“She didn’t know what it meant, but along with her power pulsed horror like she’d never known. The kind of horror, she realised, that only comes with recognising the worse part of oneself, and having long-suppressed fears confirmed.”