Black magic, action, emotional rollercoaster and romance are all over the place in this book. Malinda Lo represents Chinese literature in two praised manners: as a great writer with obvious Chinese literature and tradition influence, as well as a great female fantasy writer with obvious influence of the modern fantasy literature trends.
The mere beginning of the book sets scenography upside down. The nature is collapsing and the humanity is endangered by severe unnatural events and the emerging of dark magic and obscure creatures. The book starts within the atmosphere of endless night, since the sun collapsed and you will immediately be pulled into the tension and excitement of the mere overall setting. The main protagonists of the book are two teenage girls, Kaede and Taisin, that will spend the rest of the book in an exquisite journey through the wicked outer world, as well as through their inner worlds and intimate relation.
Taisin carries the talent and the curse of magic power, while Kaede is just a common, earthly teenage girl, destined to join her life journey with Taisin. They’re seventeen years old and sent to a journey to the cursed city of Tailili to face and fight Fairy Queen, which appears to be the last chance for humanity survival. The journey will force them to overcome numerous challenges, some in the form of an actual action, dangers and obstacles, while others will test their morality, loyalty, character traits and faith into one another. Forced to lean on each other and grow over some tough psychological challenges, two girls will bond strongly, even develop the unique form of romance.
Unfortunately, the action plot will test their relationship in so many ways, including the final test when it turns out that only one of them may save the humanity, which might tear their bondage for good. Along the long and stressful road, two huntresses will face their fellows succumb to various black magic dangers, get killed or drawn to the evil world of Queens spells and reign.
Three main strong aspects of this book refer to writer enormous talent to meticulously lead you through delicate emotional changes, talent to pull you into vividly described atmosphere with all the lush and tradition in Chine and finally the writer’s talent to keep you stuck to the book compulsively while array of actions and adventures keep you excited and astonished. It will also refresh you emotionally with numerous situations where girls’ characters are tested, temped and changed for good or worse.
As one of the highlighted sentences in the book states: “Making a decision isn’t about knowing every potential consequence. It’s about knowing what you want and chasing a path that takes you in that direction”. Although the story is thick with particular events and strong characters, it carries one etheric eternal point and numerous powerful insights that will mark you once you’re done reading this great piece of female fantasy literature.