Thank you to Rachel Emma Shaw for this book. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
Synopsis: There's nothing Sarilla hates more than stealing memories, but the king forces her to do, just so he can keep his subjects in line. She wants to escape to where nobody knows what she is or what she can do, but her plans go awry when she runs into someone she would much rather forget.
Falon has a six-month void in his memories that he's desperate to restore. He doesn't know why they were taken or what they contained, nor why the man he loves is acting so cagily about what happened during that time. He hopes to use Sarilla to get back what was stolen from him and isn't interested in why she's so desperate to escape. She will help him get back what he's lost, whether she wants to or not.
Join Sarilla and Falon in this twisted tale about how sometimes good intentions aren't enough to keep the darkness at bay. (Amazon)
The idea of someone being able to steal memories is a fascinating one. The power that it would entail would not just make that person valuable, but potentially dangerous. Enter our lead Sarilla.
This story had a lot of promise.
The protagonist, Sarilla has been kept by the King of this realm and used for her abilities to take memories from his enemies. She escapes with her brother, whose own powers are similar to her own, and carries the marks of the tasks she did at her liege's hand on her skin. Alongside them is Falon with his band of friends, who come across Sarilla, and after finding out “what” she is, he decides to use her so that she can unlock his own lost/stolen memories.
There's a gloomy atmosphere to the story that I always fall in love with, and I was glad to see that a force such as the one that Sarilla has, has consequences, and is not something that she can simply use without it affecting her. That's the price that magic should exact on its practitioners—at least ideally, and as a preference for me, especially in a fantasy. Getting to know the Memoria and their ways, as well as seeing how they've been twisted by those who use them, made them more realistic.
But I had trouble forming an attachment to the characters—they sadly did not resonate with me as much as I'd hoped. And at the start, part of that had to do with how abruptly we're thrown into the midst of the novel without knowing which way is left or right. A little more direction, background, some easing into the action would have worked a lot more smoothly.
As soon as I noticed that these characters were bound to be on the road, I was delighted. Blame it on my love of The Lord of the Rings, but I like to follow characters on quest-like adventures of any sort. Sadly, a lot of it played out dully, with a lack of clear direction along the way.
It's the first in the duology, and Scars of Cereba might neaten the writing and cast a lot more by the time this is done. There are prospects to a strongly entertaining story here, but, unfortunately it lacked chemistry with me.
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