In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.
No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.
But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
Has this book been everywhere lately? Why yes it has. It seems that everywhere you turn this book is jumping out and smacking you in the face. Can’t say I really mind, that cover is beyond gorgeous. There is another version in red and white but I definitely like this black and amber one better.
Lets get straight to the punch, people. I loved this book. Are there a few typical YA tropes going on? Sure, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Upon opening this beauty of a book you are quickly thrown into a world that is at first a little confusing. Holland gets right to the plot and point without the typical info dump. Instead of all the rules of the world being laid out in a pretty, and painfully dull, little pattern you are given the information as it becomes relevant. It does make the first chapter or two a little confusing until you get the hang of how things work but I far prefer that method to the crashing wave of information that leaves me bored and disinterested.
So, if you’ve read the blurb on this book, you’ll know that the currency of this world is time. Time from your lifespan can be drained from your body through your blood and that is what you barter with. The stealing of time can also be used as a punishment. I really enjoyed this aspect. It felt different from all the other fantasy I have read.
Second point I want to bring up is the romance in this book. Is there romance? Sure, absolutely, but it doesn’t weigh the story down. What there is of it is part of the plot and used to further the story rather than just being a bit of frivolous nonsense thrown in for giggles. That, my friends, is how to do romance in fantasy in my opinion. Further the plot, don’t weigh it down. And, AND, the romance ends up going in a different direction than is immediately obvious and I kind of liked that.
There is also an amazing twist toward the end of the book in regards to the villain. I didn’t see that coming in a million years. I’m trying not to put spoilers in this, because I know many people who want to read this haven’t yet, but it is hard. I wiggled down into my chair and shoved my nose further into the book when I got to that twist. It made the story and I never saw it coming.
In a nutshell, without giving too much away, I would recommend this book. There are one or two points that had me frowning but it wasn’t anything that took me out of the story and I think that is what is important. The heroine is strong and has purpose. The support characters aren’t just there for filler. The plot flows and makes sense with enough surprises to keep you guessing.