Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.
I have very mixed feelings about this book. It took me two tries to get into it, and although I was never glued to the page, it is very well-written and the details and plot are amazing.
Series: Thief Errant (Book 1)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery
Rating: 4 stars
Digger thrives as a spy and sneak-thief among the feuding religious factions of Gerse, dodging the Greenmen who have banned all magic. But when a routine job goes horribly wrong and her partner and lover Tegen is killed, she has to get out of the city, fast, and hides herself in a merry group of nobles to do so.
Accepted as a lady’s maid to shy young Merista Nemair, Digger finds new peace and friendship at the Nemair stronghold–as well as plenty of jewels for the taking.
But after the devious Lord Daul catches her in the act of thievery, he blackmails her into becoming his personal spy in the castle, and Digger soon realizes that her noble hosts aren’t as apolitical as she thought… that indeed, she may be at the heart of a magical rebellion.
(Description from Goodreads.com)
I have very mixed feelings about this book. It took me two tries to get into it, and although I was never glued to the page, it is very well-written and the details and plot are amazing. My biggest issue with Star Crossed is that it is very confusing. The world that Digger–very shortly into the book called Celyn–lives in is very complicated and unique. This is the type of book that really needs a map. Here is one from the second book in the series, Liar’s Moon.
In Digger’s world in Llyvraneth (I’d love to listen to an audiobook of Star Crossed, to see how all the names are really pronounced), there are seven moons, each representing a different god. Here is a selection of the text to explain this:
“Naming the seven moons was one of the earliest lessons any Llyvrin child, nob or common, ever learned. Bountiful Celys and black Marau, who held the constant perfect balance of life and death: one bright, the other in shadow, all through the long year. Small, smoky, mysterious Sar, spinning the wrong way in the night. The twins, Mend-kaal and Tiboran, as different as work and play. Bright, fiery Zet, who lit the way for hunters and kings. The Nameless One, a tiny, white hot dot of light coursing at Marau’s heels like a relentless hound, dealing out her horrible justice to sinners. ” (page 40, Star Crossed)
In addition, under the current rule of King Bardolph, Celys is the only god that is legal to worship, and all Sarists (rebellious worshipers of Sar, who also often have magic of their own) are brutally murdered by the King’s Acolyte Guard, called Greenmen on the streets for their entirely green uniforms.
Other than the confusing beginning, Star Crossed is full of well-developed characters, that all visibly grow during the course of the book. Digger for example is very arrogant in her abilities, but isn’t without fault and makes mistakes once in a while, making her seem more human. The plot is very well paced, with great intrigue, and clever tricks and schemes that keep you interested. Star Crossed is light on romance, but some great friendships bloom, and there is a buildup that I hope will result in some romance in the second book in the series, Liar’s Moon.
Star Crossed is definitely a book I will re-read many times, and I am looking forward to finishing this series. I am also planning on reading Elizabeth C. Bunce’s other highly acclaimed book, A Curse Dark as Gold, which is a retelling of Rumplestiltskin. I would recommend this book to lovers of The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal, Secondhand Charm and The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry, and The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen.