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357 pages, Kindle Edition
First published December 2, 2018
She wasn't just a salvation of a people. She was a salvation to him.
The birth of the Queen Empress within the Otherrealm triggers the birth of the Twin Princes within the Empire. Once the Dream of the Empress is revealed, the Crown Prince travels to the Otherrealm to retrieve the Queen Empress. Upon coronation, it is the Crown Prince's sworn duty to ensure the continuance of the Empire's royal line, and upon the birth of the next generation, the Prophesy is reborn.
** Beforehand: I was granted a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion by The Parliament House **First of all, I’ve been surprised by how intriguing the story is and even more how much I developed to feel for the characters. That attachment especially to one character came 100% unexpected and I’m still not sure where it came from, not entirely at least. Summed up, this definitely is a 4-star read and it actually had potential to get 5 stars. There were two reasons which made me refrain, though. No.1: I simply leave some room to increase because I mostly was overwhelmed by the end, therefore I’ll see what the continuation has it store (whenever it will be released...) And No.2: While reading chapter 1, I quickly noticed the amount of typos and grammar and spelling issues. It seems as if there wasn’t a proof-reader and if there was, I’m sorry to say, they made a poor job. It’s quite a shame, tbh. Anyways, now let’s dive deeper into the story and it’s characters.
The plot itself wasn’t what I would call unique or original. There’s the main protagonist and heroine-to-be who is dragged to an unknown empire which she is to rule along-side with the crown prince whom she is to marry and to give children. Outside of the empire, there — of course — is the realm of the villain of the story. The antagonist who has his own story to tell and this is where Two Thousand Years differs from other ya books. In this series we are introduced to the Prophecy and the Annals of the empire. In this empire everything is predestined, everything is already determined, there’s no alternation from the course of the Annals and their Prophecy must be fulfilled. I liked this idea very much which is comparable to the structure of some religious ideas I would say. It’s amazing how much devotion and faith the citizens and the empire’s rulers put into that book without questioning it and (though I am a religious person), I totally understand why someone would go against the Prophecy to have a free life and set their own course. Something like that.
Within this setting, the heroine-to-be Alex is brought to the empire, she meets the crown prince and ...well, things happen as they ought to happen. There were moments when I wondered how easily everything played out but then there was the villain who never failed to surprise and entertain me. He really was the perfect addition to put the stakes higher. No spoilers, though.The characters were special in their own ways. As it might already be obvious, I liked the villain very much. His name is Reylor and I couldn’t help but adore how he always seemed to be kind of in control of everything, although the Annals should have been. His ultimate goal is reasonable which I think is very important to accept such an antagonist. I still wish for more about his past to be revealed in the next book or so. More of his thoughts and mind-setting to truly understand him. I crave for more insight. Nonetheless, don’t get me wrong, though I understand his reasoning, he commits some terrible crimes throughout the book and I feel I should take a minute to state I don’t support those crimes because they were of the cruelest nature. Luckily, this is only fiction, so I can love him as a character. And the end of the book, his performance and especially what he took leave me with so many headcanons, I honestly loooooved that development!
The other two main protagonists were Alex and her crown prince Treyan and oooooh, the author, or the Annals, truly wanted me to ship them. Get yourself a Treyan and you’ll be the happiest of girls! He’s so lovely and charming and good-looking. There really are at least two thousand reasons to love him. There also were moments when I loathed him, though, but that is another story to tell. As crown prince he did a proper job and as Alex’s beloved as well. I enjoyed this pairing a lot and I’m curious to see what challenges they’ll face together. Actually, I could marvel about Treyan endlessly but this is supposed to be spoiler-free, soooooo.... read the book!
Next, taking a look at Alex, for me it’s hard to link with female characters but that’s a personal issue of mine. Her behavior and actions in general were extremely realistic for someone in her position and this truly surprised me. I think the author did an excellent job when displaying her character and letting her grow. Since the story was mostly told from her point of view, I got a lot of insight and this maybe made her feel so authentic. I can’t say anything bad about her.
Sadly, aside of those three main protagonists, there weren’t much other side characters. There was the counsellor who actually played an important part but there wasn’t much info about him. All other characters but the three mains were introduced and sometimes interacted with the mains but I always felt like only touching the surface. I think this could have been better. Treyan’s connection to his leading guard Jamison seemed promising and Alex and her maids should have been depicted with more care, too. This could have really sold out for happenings that occur later in the book... To be honest, I believe, the author here missed great opportunities.
Talking about opportunities, let’s take a look at the pacing. Sometime later in the book, after certain events, things felt a bit rushed and actually after finishing this first installment it appears as if this alone could have been a trilogy, if there had been more emphasis on the side characters, their bonds to the mains. Some moments were a great opportunity to dwell in but it didn’t happen. I am not really complaining about this but I think it should handled with a bit more care.
Finally, let’s take a look at the world-building. At first, I always crackle up at the thought the empire is called The Empire because why even accept there could another one? It’s funny and I appreciate and praise their self-awareness and confidence. The other place was called the Borderlands, not very creative but well... they’re the lands at the border, so what else would the rulers and citizens of The Empire call the other territory? It’s not like they’re very creative at giving names! However, the Borderlands were adequately depicted. At least, for me it was enough to have an image in my head. But the Empire, I think this could have been portrayed with more details. I barely learnt about the towns and the citizens feelings towards their royals, for example. And I wasn’t sure how richly I ought to paint the environment in my mind. Is everything in prosperity? There were moments when was convinced the answer is yes, in others I thought the time of prosperity is still to come. Hm.
To sum it up, as you can see, I missed details and further bonds. Everything was so very focused on the three main protagonists. But taking them into my focus, there’s very much to enjoy about this book and the last chapters definitely did blow me away. What can I say? I’m sold. Especially because of Reylor. Don’t judge me if you happen to despise him.