Sora Fallcrest always dreamed of adventure, but as a member of the nobility, she learned the ways of a Lady instead. Now seventeen, she is expected to choose a husband and marry. She plots to run away, but just as she is stepping out the door, she runs into a mysterious man–and is kidnapped.
Abducted from her manor, Sora is plunged into a world of magical races, arcane jewelry and forgotten lore. She finds herself at the mercy of a dangerous assassin, haunted by an even darker past. She yearns for freedom, but he won’t let her go–not when her Cat’s Eye necklace is the only thing that can save his life.
But the necklace itself presents a problem. It is an ancient device from the long forgotten War of the Races, and its magic has the ability to steal souls. Can Sora learn to wield its power — or will the power wield her?
That’s sweet: I like Sora. Not only the novel itself but the main character too. Sweet 17 on the brink to find a husband (or to be forced to?) and then find herself in the company of an assassin and a thief. She wanted to run away from her life, but she experiences what many have learned before: Be careful what you wish for: you might get it!”
She is not prepared at all for the adventures that ensue. And she carries a talisman that might rather be a curse. Who knows? How does she deal with all that? With wit, sarcasm and a good deal of survivor’s instinct. Sora does not give in into the perceptions that the two (later three) men seem to have about a girl grown up in safety and financial security. She shows them (and herself) that she is made out of more than nice clothes, musical talent and the fastidiousness of a rich child: She kicks a.. (sorry for my language :D). She really does, and I love that in a female main character.
Her male companions are surprisingly deep. Even though living a life of crime they have their own sort of kindness and honor. However, this is often not quite clear which gives the story a wonderful tension. Like Sora, you expect them to do something awful any second just to be surprised that they are not like that. It does not mean though that they treat the girl with cotton gloves. Far from it.
The whole story is well paced with action in exactly the right places as well as calmer situations that let you relax just as much as needed for you to bear the next adventure. And those adventures are full of magic: be it the monsters a wizard is sending after them or the creatures they encounter on their journey. And of course Sora’s talisman the cat’s eye necklace which none of them really know anything about.
That stings: Personally, I would have liked to see more about her old life at the beginning of the book. Her bad relationship with her father is rather shown in conversations than real interaction between father and daughter which, on the other hand, fits perfectly well because that is exactly how it seemed to be: There was not a lot of interaction, and you do not find out until the end of the book why.
And the honey of it all: Read this story if you like young adult fantasy novels as it is a well developed and well-written story. It is easy to connect with the characters that are deep and make you curious to find out more about them. They made me so curious that I bought the other two books of the series and can’t wait for the fourth.
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