I read this book because Entertainment Weekly said the author was just as good as J.K Rowling. In my opinion, that was untrue. J.K Rowling spends her time writing in great detail to set the scene. It’s one of the advantages of writing in 3rd person.
Since this story is in 1st person point of view, it’s harder to set the scene. I like the idea behind the story, but I am not a fan of the execution. For one, it felt rushed. I was okay with the timeline being rushed since it had a purpose. I was not okay with the love being rushed.
Prince Inan fell too hard for Zélie. There was no obsession turned into feelings that the hunter usually gains for his prey. They also had no chemistry other than the mutual fear for and of each other. Adeyemi tried to portray this prince as a complicated character but in reality, the princess should have had the crown. She was best friends with a maji and she saw her getting killed by her own father. Prince Inan just had to compete for his father’s approval. Yes, giving him powers (which the King strongly loathed) was a great detail to his character, but not enough to value him as a narrator.
Princess Amari was a great compliment to Zélie. Amari was genuinely nice and naive, yet fierce. Zélie was distrustful, selfish and paranoid. This isn’t a slight at Zélie’s character. She saw her mom being killed for having magic powers. Her father kept getting threatened and taxed by the people of the palace. She grew up in a tough world. Having Amari and Zélie become friends would make for a dramatic story of how friendships can overcome differences. However, that’s not what’s happening. Zélie has only tolerated Amari because it was in a prophecy. Amari tries her best to be nice but it goes unrewarded until Amari became of use to Zélie. Again, not a slight, just an observation. I look forward to what see what the sequel has in store for these two.
I will hand it to Ademeyi. Creating a world in which the magical are oppressed and feared is indeed thrilling. Having them slowly regain their power is heartwarming. I am excited to read more of this world.
Now here are some of my favorite quotes:
“On earth, Sky Mother created humans, her children of blood and bone. in the heavens she gave birth to the gods and goddesses. Each would come to embody a different fragment of her soul.”
“Showing the princess what it looks like when her life is actually in danger!”
Back story, Amari (the princess) was telling Tzain (the brother) that her life was in danger. Zelie became angry because she has this stereotype that this princess is a weak spoiled brat who doesn’t know any hardships. This is a good attribute to show in the book. How it’s easy for people to jump to conclusions based on very limited information.
The sears on my skin are nothing compared to the guilt that scalds my heart.
“But he wasn’t wrong to take magic away. He was wrong for the oppression that followed.”
I feel like this is a suitable argument for gun control (given that this book is already political enough). Funnily enough, when I read this passage, I didn’t know this book was meant to be a statement about Black Lives Matter.
“Your people, your guards–they’re nothing more than killers, rapists, and thieves. The only difference between them and criminals is the uniforms they wear.”….
“Fool yourself all you want, little prince, but don’t feign innocence with me. I won’t let your father get away with what he’s done. I won’t let your ignorance silence my pain.”
Another political statement.
Featured Image taken from Goodreads