So can I just say how surprisingly awesome this book is? The only reason I read it in the first place is because it’s by the same author as “Daughter of Smoke and Bone.” And I was really hesitant going in: I hadn’t heard anything about it and, let’s face it, faeries are so not my thing--especially when they’re of the small, winged variety. When I started the book, I honestly didn’t think I would finish it. The first hundred pages or so were really slow, and the faeries were annoying me. But then I hit a point (right around when Talon’s introduced) where I got totally sucked in. No joke. Who would’ve ever thought I’d get so invested in the fate of a bunch of faeries?
But here’s the thing: it turns out Magpie is freakin’ awesome. She may be tiny, but she’s brave and fierce and surprisingly hilarious. And Talon is the same. And so are the crows. And the slew of secondary characters are amazing as well. And the villain--it’s so perfectly evil.
And the book is really well paced. It’s 434 pages, which is much longer than books I usually like, but I didn’t even notice. The pages just kinda flew by. There’s action and fighting but just enough world building as well. The book reads more like a middle-grade, so there wasn’t overly much character development, but for once I didn’t mind--I was too sucked into Magpie’s quest.
And, being by Laini Taylor, the writing was, of course, so well done. She just has that little quirky flair to her writing that manages to not only unobtrusively tell the story but also to keep you smiling. And her characters speak in this cool little dialect; like they say “neh” instead of “no” and “teched” instead of “touched.” And they have their own swear words, like “skive”--which I fully intend to start using. I kinda imagined them sounding like a cross between Scottish and Australian.
Overall, I ended up loving this book way more than I ever thought I would. It’s just such a fun and exhilarating adventure. It’s one of those books that I could recommend to pretty much anyone of any age without worrying that they would find something offensive or objectionable about it. And, man, am I glad I already have the sequel sitting here just waiting for me to read it.