Author: Jen Castleberry
*I was given a free ebook copy in exchange for an honest review*
Fifteen years have passed since the yellow eyed Fire Scale ruined Cody’s town of Ithil; fifteen years she has lived in disguise; fifteen years she has trained to kill a Fire Scale and with her winnings, save her family from their dire circumstances.
For such a short book, there is a sizeable cast of characters yet the main characters were well fleshed out and the side characters deftly sketched. Cody is practical, committed, caring, determined. It is these characteristics which lend her her strength though her more physical skills come into play, too.
I adored Castleberry’s writing style. It was lyrical and poetic and flowed like silk.
The world was painted in such vivid colours although I did struggle a little with depictions of almost modern seeming shopping malls coexisting within a few miles of medieval seeming villages. Though there was little particularly new in terms of worldbuilding, Castleberry kept the ideas fresh and vibrant.
One character in particular seems to unravel as the story progresses, acting as the perfect foil for Cody. Although I did find that the whole sociopath act wasn’t very well signposted, in hindsight, it became clear that he was the kind of sociopath everyone knows — one born of a sense of entitlement and poisoned by disappointment when what they believe themselves to deserve is taken beyond reach. It was an unnerving portrait of an unstable psyche hidden behind a normal facade.
I was disappointed in the ending but I understood why what happened happened, and I admire the way Castleberry took the expected narrative and turned it on its head.
This novella releases tomorrow and can be found on Amazon