My rating: 3 of 5 stars (actually 7/10)
I good, solid read, but not as amazing as I’d been expecting. Maybe it therefore suffered from too high expectations?
I found the first half to be very slow – and I was left in a constant is he/isn’t he state of confusion regarding Sage’s identity. Mostly because I wasn’t sure if she would take what I saw as the most obvious solution. She did.
However, once that was pretty much cleared up and she explained how that was possible, I was much happier. I hadn’t been sure she could come up with a reasonable explanation, but everything was there, set out to be revealed later. At some point, I’d quite like to reread the book knowing those revelations. I really do wonder if that would alter my more lacklustre reaction to the first half of the book.
However, as I may or may not have said before, I generally hate unreliable narrators so I first reading where I’m all “can I trust what the first person narrator says or not” I find very annoying. To this day, I don’t know why I didn’t find that with The Thief, except that somehow I always trusted Gen, even if I knew he wasn’t telling me everything. I didn’t feel I could trust Sage. I like to be able to trust my narrator and I didn’t in this case, which is why I’d kind of like to read it again now I do know the truth. Although when I’d ever find the time, I don’t know.
I did like the resolution of the sub-plot with Imogen (I’m glad she took the other direction with that one) and I’m tempted to read the next book to find out how Sage gets on with the princess as they face the upcoming threats to the kingdom.
So yes, a solid read, but not an ideal one if you’re comparing Sage to Gen (which isn’t fair, but it’s part of what sold me on the book in the first place) or if you don’t like unreliable narrators.