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Even the Darkest Stars

(Even the Darkest Stars #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,524 ratings  ·  556 reviews
The first in a sweeping and action-packed debut fantasy duology loosely inspired by the early climbers of Mt. Everest—perfect for fans of Cindy Pon and Alison Goodman.

Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in
Paperback, 448 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Balzer + Bray (first published September 5th 2017)
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Erika (tigerlily.books) Yes, there is romance in it. It's from Kamzin POV and it's written in first person.
Jasmin The series is titled as a duology on the authors website :)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,524 ratings  ·  556 reviews

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Emily May
“I never thought someone like you could exist.” He watched me with a half smile on his face. “A girl from a tiny village many explorers have never even heard of, with greater skill than most of them will ever possess.”

Super special heroine... ✓
Love triangle... ✓
Hot dude #1 is lifelong best friend... ✓
Hot dude #2 is an obnoxious newcomer... ✓
Virtually nothing happens for 75% of the book... ✓

The only reason I am not giving this one star is because the setting is so excellent. The aut
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Different and good!!

Mel 🖤
This sounded so different from your standard YA fantasy novel with the mountainous Himalayan setting being the most standout aspect. I was excited for the Royal Explorer to come in and pit sister against sister. Unfortunately, other than the setting, everything else was entirely forgettable. If I hadn't read this as quickly as I did, if only to get past the slow pace, I would've forgotten details needed to go on. Now after sitting on the story for a week before reviewing, I can remember the big ...more
Ben Alderson
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That ending really saved this from being a THREE STAR.
I mean hello BIG TWIST.
I MEAN helllooooooooooooo

I am going to need book two.. right NOW ahh!
I can't wait
DNF @ 74%.

Hmm. Hmmmmm. I'm feeling very conflicted about this book. It had a really promising start, and the worldbuilding was consistently FANTASTIC. The descriptions of the rugged terrain of the mountain range, the snow and ice and glaciers, the sense of mysticism and legend, the PET DRAGONS……….it felt like the kind of story told around a campfire on a chilly night, full of so much adventure and potential that you can feel it crackling in the cool air. Unfortunately...........none of the atmosp
𝚊𝚗𝚗𝚊 ❁
i’m kinda torn about how to rate this. on one hand, it was more of a 3.5 star, but on the other, it was almost a 4.5, so i think i’m just going to stick with 4 stars.

i had absolutely no idea what this book was about when i picked it up, but i had heard that it had dragons in it so i was super excited. however, the dragons in this book are only used as floating lamps, basically. that was disappointing, but that was also mainly my fault for not reading the synopsis to figure out what t
I've never read anything quite like this.

4.25 stars.

YA fantasy is my most-read genre, but Even the Darkest Stars surprised me. It's not about saving the world or defeating an evil ruler or winning some magical competition. It's about climbing a mountain no one has ever climbed (and survived) before, and it's set in a fantasy empire inspired by the Himalayas.

The setting felt magical, and it had a rich, detailed mythology. The people of Azmiri have familiars, magical talismans, and use sma/>The
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen's been awhile since I have enjoyed a book as much as I did this one! Even though I found myself frustrated with the heroine...she still tugged at my heartstrings!

And River?? I don't know whether to love him or hate him.

Only the next book in the series will help with this...and now I have to wait a WHOLE YEAR???

Rachel E. Carter
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-paperback
Unexpectedly epic.

Honestly the blurb for this book never interested me but hearing reviewer friends liked this made me curious and put the book on my TBR months ago... I'M SO HAPPY I GAVE THIS BOOK A CHANCE!!! The setting was AMAZING (I have a thing for harsh landscape/survival-ish stories), the romance was worth it, and honestly I've never really read anything like this -I so appreciate the author's research into mountaineering (I felt like I was right there with Kamzin) and the setti
Kamzin, second daughter of her village-Elder father, is apprenticed to the local shaman. But Kamzin stinks at magic. What she really wants is to follow in the footsteps of her mother, an explorer. When River Shara, the Emperor’s official explorer, arrives in her village on his way to Raksha, the tallest mountain in the Aryas range, where a talisman that will protect the nation from witches is said to be hidden, Kamzin seizes her chance. But working for River means working against her older siste
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Gosh, Even the Darkest Stars was absolutely beautiful. The setting especially - most of this book takes place in the mountains, because our characters are trying to find an ancient talisman at the top of Mount Raksha. Incidentally, this book could really do with a map, but the world-building itself was very nicely done. We're talking about an age-old feud between humankind and witches, pet dragons, familiars, pet dragons, shamanism, PET DRAGONS. All of it pampered around this beautiful s
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A solid 5 star read!

I didn't really know what to expect when I picked this up but it definitely wasn't what was contained within. Even the Darkest Stars is a fabulous, dark and snow-filled read with some great characters (Kamzin, River, Tem and Ragtooth, of course) and leaves you wanting more. The atmosphere is tense and eerie and the descriptions of the mountains were superb! I followed Kamzin every step of the way and I even figured out one of the characters from nearly halfway in (I knew the
Aug 22, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy, romance, xeno
They climb a mountain.

The Story- I was really looking forward to this book. When I picked it up I said to myself, “Mountains, Gandalf! Mountains!” No joke, I like to quote LOTR aloud quite a bit. But you know what? That’s all that there really was to this book. Sure there was actual story going on in the background, but in the foreground? Climbing, hiking, snowing, falling, climbing, mountain village, mountain peak, valleys, forest, snow shoes, rope, rocks, etc. THEN at 90% the story changes, you get some answers from the qmountain.
I'm tempted to award a whole extra star for the sole fact that this isn't a trilogy and everything will be resolved in the next book. Buuuut.

Okay, real talk. The setting in EVEN THE DARKEST STARS is so cool (see what I did there, ps it's about climbing a giant freezing cold snowy ass mountain, incase you didn't know..), I'm pretty sure it's based off the Himalayas, and it's so vivid and breathtaking. Which is the upside to a book set around a journey-style adventure. Bad news? It's a
Tink Magoo is bad at reviews

3.5 stars

I know I carry on about the flow in stories a lot, but really it can make all the difference and pull a mediocre tale up at least a star and Heather Fawcett has a style that's so easy to read that I found it hard to put this one down (even during the slower parts). Add to that the small mountainside setting and an adventurous trek surrounded by mysteries. I loved those aspects. The pacing was a bit off through the middle (slow) and end (rushed), but aside from that, I'm look
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book it was very exciting I loved all aspects of the story can't wait for the sequel. I really liked the characters especially Kamzin and River even with what happened at the end that just makes me want more. I loved the story it was so very well written I loved everything from the journey to the romance and the magic and all of the interesting things that happened. So overall I loved this book and I really need that sequel now.
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-release
Wow, this took me by surprise and swept me off my feet! I loved this story from start to finish and devoured it in almost one sitting. I loved all of the different characters in this, and the mountainous setting was so unique. That ending has left me dying for the second book!
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
me: closes book.
also me: gets up to go bury it underneath the snow that’s piled in my yard.
me talking to book: now, sit there and think about what you’ve just done.

wow, what a terrifying and thrilling journey this was.

i throughly enjoyed this wintery tale. it was scary and surprising. for whatever reason, i didn’t think i would like this book. boy, i was so wrong. i will admit, though, that this story is very slow. but it also feeds you breadcrumbs of little bits of intriguing information
Beatrice in Bookland
"Hearts of shadow, eyes of flame.
None escape who witches claim."

This is not a bad book, but I just... wasn't that into it, I guess?

On one hand, I think this book's strongest point is the atmosphere. I don't even like mountains and all things related to it but the author made me want to buy a ticket to go ski. And I hate skiing (horrible childhood memories, ugh). And the familiars and little dragons were definitely a plus, they're so cute and cuddly, I want one.

On the other hand, the book's weakest point(horrible/>This
Even the Darkest Stars is a fantasy story set in a fictional version of the Himalayas where magic, witches and demons are real. As the youngest daughter of the village chief Kamzin has spent her life training to become the next Shaman but magic isn't something that comes easily to her and all she really wants to do is become an explorer like her late mother was. When one of the Emperor's elite royal explorers comes to the village to prepare for an expedition to Raksha everyone expects Kamzin's sister ...more
Nina (Every Word A Doorway)
A Himalaya-inspired setting. Two sisters pitched against each other. Magic. Dragons. What could possibly go wrong? Well, as it turns out, a lot.

Even The Darkest Stars could have been amazing because the potential was definitely there. Unfortunately, the book suffers from three diseases which the author found no cure for: Special snowflake syndrome, lack-of-plot syndrome, and annoying-love-triangle syndrome.

Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

When the greatest explorer ever known demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister Lusha—for his next expedition everything changes. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means climbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer who is determined to best River, and Kamzin must decide what’s most impor
Margaret Rogerson
I had the privilege of reading an advance copy of ETDS, and it’s as incredible as it sounds - a breathless adventure in a truly unique setting. Though Fawcett doesn’t hold back describing the brutalities of mountain climbing, I couldn’t help but want to be there with the characters, taking in this landscape of sparkling, sharp-edged beauty layered with unforgettable monsters, high-altitude perils, and magic both gorgeous and terrifying. Above all, I’m sad to leave Kamzin and River behind.

This i
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, arc
Lots of adventure and tons of surprises. The pace was almost perfect - and I loved seeing all the challenges Kamzin, River and Tem face.

My only wish was for more backstory of Kamzin's life and more details about the magic system.
Lilly (Lair Of Books)
***3.5 Stars***

UPDATE: Full Review can also be found on Lair Of Books


I typically read the Goodreads Synopsis before writing my Plot summary & I’m a bit confused this time around. The order of events & how they happened aren’t exactly correct in the synopsis & this is the first time I’ve seen this happen on GR. So, my Plot discussion will differ fr/>
FYI 90% of this book is people hiking up a mountain. If that isn’t your thing, then don’t read it.

I mean, the squad faces monsters (both weather related and the traditional monster variety) so it’s not all about climbing, but it mostly is.

This book different from other fantasy books I’ve been reading lately. No princess trying to reclaim a crown. No heists. Just a good old fashioned journey book! Up a mountain. That is basically Everest. But with monsters and witches and spirits too.
rachel ☾
Even the Darkest Stars was a beautifully atmospheric read. The Himalayan-inspired fantasy world it was set in was, by far, my favourite aspect of the story. The world truly came to life under Fawcett’s writing style. She truly has a knack for world-building with the way she was able to seamlessly blend Nepalese culture with her unique magic system. I adored that so many different magical races were present, especially how they tied in with the characters’ own folklore. The mini dragons were just so a ...more
*Source* Edelweiss
*Genre* Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Epic
*Rating* 3.5-4

*MY Thoughts*

Even the Darkest Stars is the first installment in debut author Heather Fawcett's Even the Darkest Stars duology, with the sequel scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2018. 17-year old Kamzin is the protagonist. She lives on Mount Azmiri, and is the youngest daughter of the village elder. Her sister Lusha is all about astrology and studying the stars to see what the future h
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of both fantasy and books about mountain climbing (like Krakauer's phenomenal INTO THIN AIR - an all-time favorite) - so when I heard that EVEN THE DARKEST STARS was a mountain climbing fantasy, well, I was immediately all in. It did not disappoint. And was perfect reading for the recent heat spell we had in Vermont - because author Fawcett conveyed the visceral sense of climbing an Everest like mountain so well (with supernatural creatures on the prowl), I could almost feel the da ...more
Sep 29, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-tbr
I got this in my Fairyloot box and it looks hella awesome 😍 I do believe dragons were mentioned 👀😱🐉
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I'm a Vancouver-based author who wrote EVEN THE DARKEST STARS, ALL THE WANDERING LIGHT, and EMBER AND THE ICE DRAGONS. I'm rarely on Goodreads, so if you want to contact me, please do so through my social media channels!

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Even the Darkest Stars (2 books)
  • All the Wandering Light (Even the Darkest Stars, #2)
“And as for my soul--
I saw black fire sweeping the village, heard the anguished screams. What use would I have for a soul, if everyone I loved was dead?”
“And then I came to a place where the mountain stopped. Where there was nowhere else to go.
I had reached the summit of Raksha.”
More quotes…