Genre – Fantasy

First Impressions – When I read the synopsis, I thought this would be a book of fantasy and magic. I was wrong but I wasn’t disappointed.

Summary – The story revolves around three characters who have been friends since childhood. It is an interesting layering of relationships throughout the book with characters evolving and dynamics changing as the situation in the city deteriorates.

Tain has been thrust into the role of Chancellor when he thought that he would have many more years of carefree living before he would need to bear that hefty title. This story is very much his trial by fire/rite of passage into adulthood.

Jovan is the protagonist who has been raised from a ridiculously young age to be a ‘proofer’ for Tain. It is his responsibility to test every morsel of food or drop of liquid for poison, before Tain consumes it. It is a heavy responsibility to bear which is probably the cause of his severe OCD.

Kalina is Jovan’s sister and as the eldest, she was the first choice as proofer. However, she suffers with a chronic illness that prevented her from fulfilling her role. This has resulted in Kalina being overprotected and underestimated all her life and I loved the way her character developed.

Themes – There are some pretty serious themes running through the story with the most pronounced being capitalism and religion. It’s written in a way that is easy to absorb without being too obvious which I prefer.

Rating – 7/10

I wasn’t able to work out how the story was going to unfold as I read it which I absolutely loved! There are so many twists and turns in the plot that you really can’t help but read ‘just one more chapter’. A highly enjoyable read.


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