Author: Sara Holland
My Rating: 4/5 stars
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.
No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.
But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. While I was intrigued by the concept, I wasn’t sure how it would play out and was concerned that the execution would leave much to be desired. However, I thought that it was well done, interesting and fun.
Everything made logical sense in this. The main character did some stupid things and sometimes it was frustrating, but at least she was kind of aware that what she was doing was stupid? She’s basically like, “I know this is a bad idea, but I’m doing it anyway because I don’t have anything to lose”. So I mean, got to at least applaud her for self awareness.
Jules has a lot of growth and developing she needs to do in the next book(s), but I see a lot of potential in her. I love her origin story, including the secrets that we discover about her later on in the book. (But that’s for a spoiler review, which this is not.) I also love the potential for romance that this book left us with. Nothing actually occurs between the two characters that I ship, but the tension is real and I ship it anyway. It’s going to happen.
This was altogether a really unique and awesome new fantasy that I’m really excited to have finally read. I’ll definitely be continuing this series and I’m eager to see what happens!