*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Veronica is one of my favorite voice actors. She slips into the characters and their rules with ease. We can hear the emotion of each individual as she puts voice to their thoughts, words, and actions. She uses different tones, accents, and personality to differentiate each character for us. I feel this is a blessing when listening to audiobooks. Veronica has brought the characters to life for us.
I'm taken with the world. There was a lot of thought and creation in this world and culture of the people. From their dress to their land. From their beliefs to their magic system. The relation to other lands after a ruler defeats them. It's all so well drawn out. The best part is we see all of this through details of what Tylira is living through. It's all conveyed through events, which makes the story rich and full.
Tylira is an interesting character. She hasn't connected with The Common as others have. She doesn't know why. When she starts to connect it's because of the cruel nature of discipline inflicted on her by her fathers high consort to find it. Tylira wants more in life than sitting in the Silken Gardens. Tylira finds her way to a new city with a summons from her father, High Tazmina, in order to be bonded with another that can teach her new things. She finds more than she expected, along with a strong determination to join the Hunt for the Teeth of the Gods.
Tylira is a bit young, more naive. She's lived at the Silken Gardens with her half sisters and trained her whole life thus far, she's eighteen. She's not kissed a boy yet and has many things she wants to do, like seeing the world. Tylira sees her chance to experience many things and takes it. Though, she's stubborn in taking advice. She's struggling with her "magic" and she refuses to listen to a few things that could help her. This is something I think comes from the way she is raised, alone in the Silken Gardens, and treatment from others since her mother is said to be The Tazmin's least favorite wife. She is determined to be independent and free, though at times I would like to shack her to get her to listen. lol. I can see her being a character that readers could get frustrated with because of her decisions.
I like Amadera. I have mixed feelings of her as the book goes. I didn't like her at first. She's the High Tazmina's High Consort and acts all mighty. Even what she does to Tylira to get her to connect to the Common. Grrr. But, there is something more to Amadera, or so I think I see flashes of. Maybe Amadera thinks she's really helping Tylira and making her a stronger person for what may come in the future for Tylira.
The magic in this book is something I liked. They use heart stones to show when they have made a connection to The Common, and it shows clear with their color and power. I found I was attracted to the meditation spirit area that Tylira goes to speak to her ancestors. I looked forward to the moments when visiting these deceased ancestors. There is one ancestor that is a bit strange but interesting - An'alepp. She's an old woman who's a bit crazy. I kept trying to place the influence in the culture and world to something in our world. I just keep getting drawn into what's created here and love it.
There is a growing romance here. I like this kind of romance, when two people are thrown together and very individually strong. They work at a friendship first, then the rest follows. But they have to get through "other" things in their lives before they can trust and like each other.
Coming to the end of the book, it took a turn I hadn't expected. As much as I enjoyed the story, world, and character interaction, I found I was really sparked by this surprise. I thought back, thinking on what we learned through the book and where we ended up. There were hints given as we came here, not as much in the beginning but more so the closer we got. Very cool!
I thoroughly enjoyed this story for all the aspects and the turn at the end. I am ready to ride along with Tylira on her next adventure. I'm curious to see what comes and if she can learn what she must.