Review: Starless by Jacqueline Carey

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Pages: 592

Published June 12th 2018 by Tor Books

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I was nine years old the first time I tried to kill a man…

Destined from birth to serve as protector of the princess Zariya, Khai is trained in the arts of killing and stealth by a warrior sect in the deep desert; yet there is one profound truth that has been withheld from him.

In the court of the Sun-Blessed, Khai must learn to navigate deadly intrigue and his own conflicted identity…but in the far reaches of the western seas, the dark god Miasmus is rising, intent on nothing less than wholesale destruction.

If Khai is to keep his soul’s twin Zariya alive, their only hope lies with an unlikely crew of prophecy-seekers on a journey that will take them farther beneath the starless skies than anyone can imagine.


My Thoughts

Rabid fans of Jacqueline Carey will be excited to know that this world is built in an epic fashion just like Terre d’Ange!

The premise of the story is intriguing, it’s the tried and true “chosen one” scenario, however, since I am fond of Carey and aware of what she can do with a story I didn’t fret about this falling into a tired trope. She creates a wonderful world in depth, creating religions, countries, and deities. These deities happen to roam beneath the starless sky and even interfere with the lives of mortals if they happen to take the wrong path. They also have specific domains that they rule over.

The characters are a mixed bag, some are complex and others are fairly flat. Khai, our lead character, is quite an interesting one and happens to develop the most throughout the story as he is thrust into challenge after challenge and has to come to terms with being a Shadow, along with other personal difficulties.

There are 3 parts to this story, the coming of age for Khai and training for what he is meant to be, the meeting his Sun Blessed – his soul’s twin that he is to protect – Princess Zariya, and then the third part is the prophecy.

This wasn’t a quick read, it was slow and I think that this style from Carey is meant to be read in that fashion so the reader can truly absorb and appreciate the story. I wouldn’t say that this is really a book for those who devour YA, it’s paced more like an epic fantasy which is vastly different from YA fantasy.

I dub it 3.5 savvy crowns.

Do you have a favorite book with amazing world building? Share!

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