*I received a copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Author: Sara Holland
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.
Review: I’m still struggling to separate words from the tangled mess that is my brain after reading this book. When I first read the synopsis for this book, I was expecting another exciting YA fantasy and the concept of time as currency sounded amazing. What I did not expect was to be completely knocked off-balance and have my expectations blown out of the water. This is not just another hype book and definitely deserves every word of praise. In fact, this book deserves a standing ovation with slow claps because it is jaw-droppingly good.
When I opened the first page and started reading, I wasn’t sure I was entirely sold, but as soon as the first plot twist happened I lost my mind! Then another and another, until I thought I was going to explode with suspense. Basically the story starts with the protagonist Jules who has spent years in hiding with her father after being chased away from Everless by the terrifying Liam Gerling. She spends her days trying to come up with ways to help her father pay taxes and debt, until she decides to return to Everless to settle everything. As a servant to the Gerlings, she can save her father. What she doesn’t know is that returning to Everless holds more dangers than Liam.
When tragedy strikes, Jules entire world is shattered in the span of a letter left by her father, warning her to stay away from the Queen. She sets out to find answers, only to find that the legends are true and people are not who they seem to be. If you’re looking for a straightforward fantasy with a heroine who breaks into the castle, falls in love, and saves the day then you’re looking in the wrong place. Mind you, there is a romance subplot, which I totally thought was going to become a weird love triangle, but it didn’t. This is so much more because it delves deep into myth and the history is expertly intertwined with the plot. Expect the unexpected is all I can say, because the book is so much more than it seems.
There are endless cruel twists as well as so much betrayal and backstabby goodness. I was running out of characters to trust by the end and I’m still not entirely sure who the baddies are. The sequel seems so far away because this isn’t even published yet and I already need my next fix. Sara Holland has created a drug in the form of a book and I’m addicted.