Published by Doubleday on Apr 8, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, YA
Format: eARC from Netgalley
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.
Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.
Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This is an exciting start to a new series featuring unique magical creatures, and a pair of strong twin heroines.
Let me jump to the ending first: it’s a doozy cliffhanger. My exact reaction upon finishing was “Ah… Wha… But… Oh… I need book two now.” Yes, I was almost speechless. I was shocked and amazed, and loving the story.
The twins Moria and Ashyn are very different from each other, and yet make a great complementary team. Ashyn is the shy, quiet thinker while Moria is the brash, assertive doer. Together, they have an important role in the magic of their world. I enjoyed both of their narratives, although Moira’s is slightly more amusing and energetic.
To go along with the twins are two male love interests. I like that each girl had their own potential match, and they were as different as the girls. Gavril and Moira act like children, and Moira is really oblivious to their attraction. This makes for some fun scenes, my favourite being when they are hiding in the cave. I was giggling the whole way through that scene. Ronan and Ashyn are a much more subdued couple, although Ashyn is just as naive as Moira. Their interactions made me want to “aww” for their sweetness.
Overall, this was a great start to the series, although the first half of the book is quite slow. The later part of the story is much faster paced, and like I mentioned, the ending is killer. If you can push past the first bit of the story, this is quite an entertaining tale.