I started this review over and over again, I have many thoughts to share with you and I don't know how to do that. This book was amazing and will probably be one of my favourite book of 2017.
I won't say a lot about the plot because it is the second installment in the series already, and I don't want to spoil anyone. I just need to say that it was amazing, it was full of actions but it was not too much either. It was not too predictable, many things happened that I did not see coming at all.
The characters are perfect. Seriously, they are all really well-developed even if the book is told from Amani's perspective. We only have access to her thoughts but it seems like we know all the characters really well, as if you knew what they were thinking (even better than Amani sometimes), why they were acting a certain way etc. It was impressive.
I love the world the author created. It's full of magic, but at the same time it seems so real. There is no good against evil and Amani begins to understand that in this book. It is a really important shift in her, she understands that everyone has his own side of the story, and what is good to you can be bad to someone else. She also starts to question the cause she is fighting for. We see Amani growing so much in this part of the book. There is also the fact that Amani often wonders what people would remember of her story, of the rebellion in many years. And I think that concept is soooo interesting.
There are legends and myths told at certain points in the book to explain one character for example, and these were great. They also explain who the world was created, how the magic works... Stories to explain things people cannot really explain.
Another plus in the book, is the attention the author paid to linguistic details. There are translators (should be called interpreters) for the foreign ambassadors and it added to the realistic feel of this book. No, we do not all speak the same language and it's a detail often forgotten in books. The author did a good job depicting this reality.
Something that, at first bothered me, but then I found genius, is the change of pronoun for Imin. She is a shapeshifter, so is she male or female? She is refered to as she and then as he as she changed her appearance. I really appreciated the effort the author put into that.
I think we can definitely call this book a "diverse" one. Different ethnicities are depicted in it (the Xichian, the Mirajin, the Gallans etc.), they all have their language, their physical characteristics, their cultures... I really would have loved to learn more about every single one of them. Then, there is Imin (a "he"? a "she"? both?), there are minorities (Demdji seen as demons by some people because they are different). It was great.
This book was about friendship, love, family, betrayal, loyalty, sacrifice, power, vengeance and so much more. It was also about growing up, discovering who you are and what you are fighting for, and most important why you are fighting for it. I love every single word of it and I definitely recommend it.