This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
At the tip top of the tallest trees, in a city filled with a people of light, Sleigh’s sister is born different. A defect and reject, she’s taken from her family and delivered to the Surface to the other lightless, fire-breathers below. But Sleigh’s loved this baby since before she was born, and nothing will stand in the way of protecting her sister. Not her people’s rulers threatening her life. Not slave-seeking centaurs. Not even accidentally becoming the wearer of magical wings that force her to become the lead warrior in a massive centaur war. With the help of a powerful defect man Sleigh’s falling for, and the everlasting love of a sister, baby Blush will be saved.
Star Seer by April Marcom is a fantasy book unlike any I’ve read before. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and really don’t have much criticism (which makes this a difficult review to write because I feel like I’m just going to be saying I liked everything).
I loved the types of characters the story follows. They were so unique and it was great seeing centaurs as main characters in a book. Usually, they’re mentioned briefly or only seen for short times in books and I haven’t read a book that really focuses on them as a race of creatures. I loved the world Marcom created—the luminaries, the nocturnes, the centaurs—it was fantastic. The world and history of the species were richly detailed and fleshed out well. Another thing I really appreciated in this story was that not everything was the same on the Surface and where Sleigh came from and she showed her confusion and lack of experience. I find this confusion lacking in many stories and it was nice to see a character struggle and question some simpler things, it’s realistic. Overall, it was intriguing, inventive, and a great world to be in.
The writing was very well done and descriptive. I didn’t love the jump in years near the beginning, though. It was completely necessary for the story, but it made me think the beginning could’ve been shortened into a prologue and the real story could pick up on the time after that. I don’t like large jumps of time in stories that are summarized briefly. I also disliked the occasional last lines of chapters which were meant to be dramatic but felt forced and a little awkward. Other than that, I liked the writing style and voice.
I enjoyed the characters in this book, especially the main character Sleigh. She had a good, strong voice and I appreciated the realistic resistance and reluctance she had in some situations. Everyone was well written and had unique voices and personalities that added interest to the plot.
My interest was held by the great world Marcom created and the plot, while simple, was good. The story is a bit typical and I saw some things coming—but so did Sleigh which added an unexpected and interesting element. I was concerned a prophecy near the beginning would ruin the end of the story, and in a way it did, but I still enjoyed watching it unfold. It would’ve seemed unrealistic if Sleigh, or someone around her, hadn’t seen what was to come in the stars so I liked how it was handled. She was vocal about not wanting to do what was required of her but knew she had no way of avoiding it, which helped dispel any feeling of overdone heroics by a completely inexperienced person which is commonly seen in fantasy. I thought it was a bit naive of Sleigh to think the thing she was doing that catapulted her into the Surface world would save who needed saving right away. Since it wasn’t shown explicitly in the stars, how could she know that she was showing up at the exact right moment and they might not be attacked some other time? She was also very, very quick to trust Gabriel. The infatuation she felt for years was understandable, but that slightly unrealistic intensity returned quickly when they met again.
I would recommend this book for younger YA fantasy readers and even middle grade fans. It was fast and fun with a compelling world unlike any I’ve seen in other fantasy novels. Thanks to the author for sending me a copy!
Thanks for reading,