This book contains:
- Extreme class segregation and persecution
- “Ownership” of people similar in some ways to slavery
- Descriptions of and the aftereffects of genocide
- Attempted rape
- Attempted and completed murder.
Thorn is the primary character we follow for roughly two thirds of the book, however, we also spend about one third following Lucien.
Thorn is a human who’s suffered immense trauma from the Suriia and is hell bent on revenge for the murder of her family while also trying to do her best to protect her “little sister” Thistle. She’s a tough nugget, strong willed, suspicious of all and entirely dedicated to her cause.
Lucien is a Suriia of unknown origins (until the last third of the book) who’s suffered immensely at the hands of humans. Not initially from the same Earth as Thorn is, he’s suffered similar trauma but responds in quite a different way. For him, he’s all about creating a safe space for his family to live out their days without drawing more attention to themselves than they need to.
Thorn and Lucien are battling their own demons while trying to find a better life for themselves and their loved ones. We follow Thorn until she meets Lucien and then go back a bit to get a bit of Lucien’s history until he meets Thorn. And then everything changes, and we learn exactly how intricate everything is, and follow them as they do their best to fix it.
I’ve read and reviewed the entire of The Outlands Pentalogy, and really enjoyed Rebecca’s writing. So when I discovered she’d entered this book into the 2022 Book Bloggers Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA), I thought I knew what I was getting into. But boy was I wrong!
Although I did have mixed feelings about this as I read it. I loved the first third, then was super confused for the entire of the second third and felt betrayed and so conflicted. But then my trust was restored in the final third. If you read this, please give the second third a chance! It will make sense and work out for the best by the end of it!
By the very end I was so happy, and while I’d kinda like to know what happens further in the future for all of them, I’m not disappointed in how it ended.