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406 pages, Kindle Edition
First published April 8, 2014
I got them all killed. I was supposed to protect them, and I was underground, entertaining a convict, throwing daggers at a wall.Sigh.
"Our village is gone. The women massacred, the men turned to shadow stalkers, the children stolen. I believe that qualifies as ‘something gone wrong.’”Sounds exciting, no?! Don't get your hopes up, because all that action is spread oh-so-slowly over a couple of dozen chapters. This book goes nowhere fast.
"A dagger won’t kill the fever. Won’t kill the spirits.” She turned. “But good luck anyway.”A choice she will regret later.
It was a piece of meat, almost like a ball, but...Only to run into the arms of kidnappers. Ronan is Ashyn's captor. And to make matters worse, Ronan captures Ashyn using the dagger Moria gave him.
She realized what she was looking at and covered her mouth to keep from crying out again.
“It’s a heart,” she whispered.
It was indeed a heart, impaled on a branch.
He pulled a dagger from his belt. The blade shimmered in the lantern light, but it wasn’t the steel that caught her attention—it was the filigreed handle.Now do you see why it was a bad fucking idea for Moria to give him the dagger? Nice job.
“That’s...that’s my sister’s dagger.”
“I didn’t mean to mock you, Ashyn. It’s just...sorcery? I suppose in a place like Edgewood they still believe in that sort of thing. Old superstitions.”There are dragons and petrified dragon eggs are sold in marketplaces, but a porcupine...is sorcery!
“It must be sorcery,” she murmured. “To make such a creature.”Pointless Spirits: There was no point to Moria and Ashyn being Seeker and Keeper of the Spirits. Their powers are pointless and hardly used. Neither of them can defend themselves against the spirits by any magical power. They can only attack the spirits with physical weapons, and Ashyn is pretty incompetent in that sense. Both sisters have to rely on big, strong men to take care of them. Their relationship with the spirits is purely superficial. In the beginning, we're told that Moria talks to the spirits, and that's pretty much the last we hear about it for a long fucking time because it's almost never mentioned again.
“You’re as superstitious as an old nanny. Sorcery didn’t make such a creature. Necessity did.”
“It isn’t shadow stalkers,” she whispered. “They don’t speak—”Moria never shuts up. She is constantly shushed, because she NEVER STOP TALKING. In the middle of a forest when they're trying to hide from the spirits? BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. In the middle of the forest when they're trying to hide from evil men? BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. She never knows when to keep her fucking mouth shut. She is too headstrong, and I hated her. She grated on my nerves. She makes stupid, impulsive decisions that gets people into trouble.
“It must be guards, from the village. They’re searching—”
“Shhh!” His lips came to her ear, warm breath filling it, his voice harsh with anger. “Be still and be quiet, Keeper. For once.”
Moria raced through the forest as she clawed vines aside.Moria is often Too-Stupid-To-Live. She rushes into danger the instant she sees it, without thinking of the consoequences.
I shouldn’t have left Ashyn. I know it’s my duty to protect everyone, and Ashyn can keep the spirits at bay. But I shouldn’t have left her.
“And you just happened upon him?”Because it's so reasonable to forgive a guy who had a knife to your throat a few moments ago. Moria is the quieter twin, she lives in her sister's shadow, and she constantly wishes she was like her sister in appearance, in charisma, in strength. Ashyn spends the entire book feeling sorry for herself, and not much else.
Ashyn seemed as if she’d like to say yes, that’s what happened, but she could not lie to her sister. “His uncle captured me. Briefly. No one harmed me, though. Now let him up. Please.”
Ashyn loved her sister. And yet...It was not that Ashyn particularly wanted any of the young men who trailed after her sister. It was simply...well, simply that she wouldn’t mind a boy’s attention, if only to prove that she wasn’t completely invisible next to Moria.Ashyn is so fucking stupid. She befriends a criminal (Ronan). While he is in jail, she brings him games. She plays with him. She trusts him against all reason.
As hard as Ashyn tried, she could not quite shake the lingering hurt over Ronan’s...betrayal certainly wasn’t the right word. Even abandonment felt too harsh.She is truly a doormat.
“Keepers and Seekers were not permitted to do more than trim their hair to elbow length. Ashyn said they ought to be grateful they weren't like the spirit talkers, who weren't ever allowed to cut their hair or their nails. Personally, Moria would be more concerned with the "eyes plucked out, tongue cut off, and nostrils seared" part of being a spirit talker, but she could see that the uncut nails might be inconvenient as well.”Each of her characters has his or her own quirks and foibles that are slowly built up through the book. She does an excellent job of showing rather than telling, and that really makes a huge difference in a story like this one.