I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett
on September 5, 2017
Series: Even the Darkest Stars #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Reading Challenges: 2017 Debut Author Challenge, 2017 Flights of Fantasy Challenge
Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.
But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means climbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer who is determined to best River, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.
The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and even worse at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth of their mission and of her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.
Even the Darkest Stars was unlike anything I’ve ever read before! The premise is incredibly unique, the setting was vast and eerie and the characters were wonderfully written. There’s also magic! This book is a new favorite of mine!
I adore fantasy books with an epic journey and that’s definitely what Even the Darkest Stars is. Kamzin, River, and their rag tag crew set out at the beginning of this book to do something that’s never been done. Climb to the top of Raksha. Their journey was captivating from the start. Of course there’s immense challenges and frightening encounters. I could not stop reading!
The characters were so well done. Kamzin does have a bit of the super special YA girl trope going on, but it was well done. Well done tropes don’t bother me at all. I felt like she was interesting and likeable. I love how confident she was in her abilities. River was fantastic and pretty swoon-worthy. I loved the mystery surrounding him. I did figure it out early on but it still made him a very intriguing character. There’s a bit of romance, but not a lot. There was definite chemistry and I’m really anxious to see how things play out in the sequel.
Even the Darkest Stars is set in a Himalayan like world. There’s unforgivable, vast mountain peaks and treacherous ice and snow. As if that’s not enough there’s ghosts and witches haunting the mountains. The world was absolutely thrilling. I’ve never read anything like it. There’s also an incredible history. I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface on how the past is affecting Kamzin’s world now.
I have to mention the magic! There’s so much magic in the book! Shamans, fire demons, familiars, witches, domestic dragons, and scary ghosts! Ah! I haven’t read a book with this much magic and magical creatures in a long time. I’m so enamored with this world, you guys. I loved it!
If Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett isn’t on your radar now, it needs to be! This is a world and journey you don’t want to miss. The ending blew my mind. The sequel is already on my most anticipated of 2018 list! I can’t wait. I highly, highly recommend devouring this incredible debut as soon as possible.