19 Mar 2018

#ARCReview: THE DIMINISHED by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson


Author: Kaitlyn Sage Patterson
Series: Untitled Duology #1
Source: Won in a Giveaway
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Rating: 4/5 stars

In the Alskad Empire, nearly all are born with a twin, two halves to form one whole…yet some face the world alone. 

The singleborn 

A rare few are singleborn in each generation, and therefore given the right to rule by the gods and goddesses. Bo Trousillion is one of these few, born into the royal line and destined to rule. Though he has been chosen to succeed his great-aunt, Queen Runa, as the leader of the Alskad Empire, Bo has never felt equal to the grand future before him. 

The diminished 

When one twin dies, the other usually follows, unable to face the world without their other half. Those who survive are considered diminished, doomed to succumb to the violent grief that inevitably destroys everyone whose twin has died. Such is the fate of Vi Abernathy, whose twin sister died in infancy. Raised by the anchorites of the temple after her family cast her off, Vi has spent her whole life scheming for a way to escape and live out what's left of her life in peace. 

As their sixteenth birthdays approach, Bo and Vi face very different futures—one a life of luxury as the heir to the throne, the other years of backbreaking work as a temple servant. But a long-held secret and the fate of the empire are destined to bring them together in a way they never could have imagined.
Disclaimer: I won a copy of this ARC in a Twitter giveaway. This has no impact on my opinion.

This is a really cool and interesting book. I love the fact that unlike a lot of fantasy novels, we aren't given a whole lot of backstory and history. Instead, we are expected to be fully immersed in the world, the story, and the types of challenges that these characters face on a day to day basis. But it really worked. 

I thought that it was a little long but only because this entire book is basically just a set up for the rest of the series. There is an overarching plot but you know immediately that the "resolution" just means more problems for the future. Which is fine because I want more of this but I don't know that I wanted 400 pages of just this. 

I really liked the characters and having a dual narration is always more exciting. I liked seeing how both Vi and Bo viewed the world and the people around them. I didn't have a preference for either until the last 10% or so because they had different stories to tell. It's clear that they will eventually overlap but when they do I am meh about their interactions. I think it's because we spend so much time in each of their heads and the other perspective doesn't see the first exactly how the reader does so it warps things a bit. I especially liked the romance aspect to this one. I thought it all felt really natural and everyone had such a strong connection to their person and I just couldn't handle it.

The fantasy aspects were cool. Although I don't know that I would classify this as a fantasy? It's more like an alternate history or something to that affect because (as of now) there isn't magic or creatures or anything that you would expect to find in a fantasy. There is political intrigue, fighting for the crown, and religious crusades but I don't know that that makes it a fantasy. It does, however, make it one of the most interesting books I've read in a very very very long time. The way that people are thought to be born is probably the most interesting part of this one. And I especially love the politics of it - although I do wish there had been more of that or at least a bit more explanation of it.

Here's my only real complaint though: the story itself was only sort of okay. I knew it was a duology and went into this knowing there would be unanswered questions and possibly a cliffhanger, but I still expected more from the resolution aspect. I thought that the whole second part of this book, while intriguing and interesting, could have been cut down. 

My ARC is 489 pages long. To be honest, it felt too long while reading. I liked the lush aspects and the extra details that we got, but it felt like other things were rushed over for something that wasn't extremely meaningful. I guess I wanted either more action or more politics from this first book instead of half of both. Neither amount left me satisfied. But that's really my only complaint.

I really enjoyed this one. I thought it had a cool premise, political intrigue, and it has a gay main character. So really what more could I ask for?

1 comment:

  1. Oh this one sounds interesting and I do love the cover. I am glad to see you enjoyed it!


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