This was not a terrible book, but it was not grasping my attention as I would have liked. The pacing was not an issue as it was for some. I have read slower-paced books and sometimes it is a pleasant change. I feel like it was lacking in areas.
I feel as if the reasoning behind the curse, which is the antagonist, was not believable for the harshness she meant it to give. The explanation was a tell, and I believe it would have been more sympathetic for the readers to have seen a bit of what Desdemona went through. The author introduced us to Dagmar and Desdemona in the prologue and then chapter 1 is 10 years after only to get a small glimpse of Dagmar before the curse was cast.
The blood runes were under-used. Again this awesome introduction to them in the prologue, and it was as if they were an afterthought during the book itself. If you pulled them out, it would not be much of a dent. What happened to the cave? Did Dagmar tell the High Keeper? What was the point of it except to show us how powerful blood runes are, but yet readers did not see this power in the rest of the book.
Banruud, who is the villain, was hardly in the story. He is the primary reason for this curse and we do not see him enough to justify the curse reasoning. I mean, when we see him, he is brutal, but I have seen that in books, movies, and tv shows were just a stab with a sword or a throwing ax would be justifiable.
Giving Alba away to the North King should have happened earlier. To me, it was a late introduction, and Alba was not too much of a convening character when she got older.
I think exploring The Daughter’s of Saylok further instead of skimmed would have been nice to see.
I liked Dagmar, Bayr, Alba, and Ghost. But I did not love them. In fact, I liked Ghost better than Alba. I know not everything can or should be explained and I like it that way. This book had awesome potential. The story idea was great, and it was a good story. I love fantasy; I love historically based books. It was not my cup of tea. But it could be yours.
I give this book a 3/5
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