Review Detail4.0 1
Mari's tribe, led by women, seems to be at the bottom of the food chain (not surprising perhaps), as the tree dwellers enslave them and the Skin Stealers will attack them. However, Mari and her mother, Leda, have a close-guarded secret- Mari's father was a member of the sun-worshiping tree tribe. Thus, when a young dog escapes, it runs to Mari to bind itself to her. As the young pup was one which Nik had his eyes on, he follows and they meet, with a Romeo-and-Juliet-like tale ensuing.
It's quite a complex world which Cast has created (and this is the reason for the length of the book)- there are so many people and actions vying for the reader's attention that it is easy to get lost early in the book. It comes together when the action really begins (the pup running away) and the storyteller in Nik's tribe gives some context and history. I wish it had begun with this information, as the first part of the book was a little hard to follow- it was an "Ooooh!" moment for me, for sure. However, after that point, it became a much quicker/easier (though still very complex and intricate) read.
It fits the fantasy genre really well, and so as not to give spoilers, I'll just say that once I got the people and plot, I liked it alright. There were some things I was not so fond of (Mari is pretty immature and naïve and I found some of their relationship hard to grasp) and also some really intense scenes that I am not sure I would recommend to many young readers. However, for fantasy lovers, I think this is a world they will truly enjoy!
Please note that I received this book from the publisher through netgalley in exchange for my honest review.