Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is the first book in a new Fantasy/SciFi series about a prophecy that a young girl born to an exiled couple will bring about an apocalypse. The Kingdom is on the brink of war with another nation. The King orders his second son to hunt down a species of bats in order to get their venom for weapons. He also orders the Prince to capture the young girl. Meanwhile, in another part of the Kingdom, a thief escapes prison along with a life sized bronze woman that has come to life. The thief’s intricate escape plan goes awry when the woman indicates she has a destiny to fulfill.

Well. I don’t even know where to start with this book. It’s 560 pages long, and it felt like it. I can normally breeze through a book this size in a few days, but I struggled to finish this one in over a week. It’s very common to have a significant amount of worldbuilding in the first book of a fantasy series. I get that. I’ve devoured tons of George R.R. Martin and Brandon Sanderson books. But the worldbuilding in the beginning of this book was excessive, and was far too detailed. I was at around 35-40% of the book before I even knew what the story was all about. That’s not good.

There are multiple main characters and the chapters alternate between their points of view. There are also several minor characters to keep track of, and frankly it got to be a bit much. Even with all of the worldbuilding in the beginning, the author kept adding more and more background, characters and lore throughout the book until I finally gave up trying to remember everything.

I think the main storyline is intriguing and I like most of the main characters, but I still couldn’t connect with this book. I’m not sure if it’s the enormous amount of information provided, or perhaps the author’s writing style that just left me numb. I think forgoing some of the intricacies of the story, and/or better editing would have greatly improved the book. Usually the rest of the books in a series move more quickly, so I’m hopeful that the next book has less worldbuilding and more story telling.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and MacMillan-Tor/Forge. All opinions are my own.