I was sent The Colourless by the publisher for an honest review.
When Kandrina’s beloved older brother was taken by the fearsome Lightning Demons, she swore an oath to the gods that she would avenge him. But the Demons may not be as evil as the People’s temples say they are. They may not even be responsible for her brother’s death. Her tutor Remlik has another theory, but when Kandrina tries to explain it to her father, she is declared a heretic. The priests punish her, but she is rescued by a curious Demon, who takes her to their crystal city on the plains and begins teaching her that the two races are not so different.
I was surprised by how much I liked this book. I didn’t go into with any expectations but I really wasn’t expecting the writing and world building to be so great. It had a strong beginning that captured my interest immediately and told us bits about the world and culture straightaway. Lewis expertly crafted an intricately detailed world that we learned about throughout dialogue and descriptions. I don’t think there was one info dump in the entire book (!!!). The writing was really good—nothing beautiful but skillfully done. It had a nice flow and was very descriptive.
The story was full of complex characters and relationships, but the plot itself seemed simple despite there being a lot of moving pieces. I enjoyed the story but I would’ve liked something bigger to happen because it was mostly about Kandrina and the others learning and teaching others about the Colourless. I never felt a sense of urgency or anticipation towards a climax. Looking back, the book had a good amount going on (scheming priests, fleeing “heretics,” magic, intervening gods and more) but while I was actually reading it, the feeling that it was mostly about learning and teaching others about the Colourless persisted.
We follow the story from multiple points of view—a lot, actually. I can’t remember exactly how many but it was upwards of at least nine. It’d be easy for that to be too many, to become too jumpy and inconsistent, but Lewis did it seamlessly. It never felt like too many and never felt jumpy or erratic. I really enjoyed the expansive view we got of this world and the conflicts because of the multiple POVs. The characters were really well written. They felt like real people, no one was flat or felt like they were just there to move the plot along. My favorite character was Dranjari, the Goddess of Time. She was by far the most entertaining and I looked forward to her appearances.
I also loved the tribal aspect of this otherwise traditional feeling fantasy story. The world was very unique and interesting, with a lot to be learned about the history of the tribes and gods and, of course, the Colourless. I loved the whole concept of the “Lightning Demons” and the way they were revealed to us. They are very original creatures, unlike anything I’ve read about before, and I really enjoyed their story.
Overall, I’m giving this book 4/5 stars. It was very well written with well formed characters and a richly detailed world. What’s keeping me from giving it 5 stars is that I would’ve liked something more dramatic to have happened. I would recommend this book for all fantasy fans, but especially those who like books focused on world building. Thank you to Beacon Publishing Group for sending me this book for review. I look forward to reading the next book in the Legends of the Lost Tribes series, Beyond the Serpent Hills.