First off, this book has such a lovely cover! If I had to rate the book for just its cover, I'd give it a four out of five.
Fun fact: I like high fantasy stories. Gaiman and Tolkien are my favorite authors when it comes to high fantasy. I haven't read much high fantasy in the YA genre though. This book has just the right elements of a standard "hero-
or for this instance heroine-journeys-and-discovers-her-strength-and-purpose-in-the-world".
So we have, Lucero-Elisa (I like her name) or Elisa. She was born a princess and on her name day was given a gift and a responsibility. She is the bearer of the Godstone, supposedly bestowed by God to a chosen one every hundred years. On her sixteenth birthday, she was married off to a King from a neighboring land plagued by threats of war. It is in this foreign land of deserts and oasis that she will fulfill the prophecy of doing an act of service to God and the people of the land.
This book had religious tones which makes it really unique from most books that I've read. Reading about the characters in the book and of their faith reminded me a lot of the saying:
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions".
Religious faith and the will of God were emphasized which eventually reflected how humans, no matter how pure or jaded they may be, are all part of God's plan.
Even if the story is in the fantasy genre, the characters are very real. Take Elisa for example, she is the first heroine that I've read in a long while who is described as fat and "sausage-looking". King Alejandro de Vega, while his name sounds oh-so-majestic, was an indecisive leader and was blind to the betrayals around him.
I would like to give Father Alentin, priest and rebel, a shout out for his wonderful quips when speaking of the King. My personal favorite would have to be
"...but His Majesty, may multitudinous sons spring from his loins,..."
As for the love angle in this book, well let's just say that it was a romance-that-never-was. I wouldn't want to spoil you of anything. *grin
This book could have been super great if:
☆ some sort of backstory was given about the Inviernos, the enemy
☆ a map of the land --it's a new world so a little help is necessary
☆ more sorcery stuff
☆ MORE HECTOR --I liked this character a lot
The second book in the trilogy is set to be released by September this year. While waiting for it, you can ogle at the lovely UK version of the book cover.