On the planet of Tav, there are two factions–The Tavarians and the humans. Marooned on the planet a hundred years ago, the humans are now slaves to the local Tavarians. Their latest rebellion, though, lands one particularly snarky rebel in prison, and that’s where he’ll meet a certain Tavarian princess, one trying her best to prove her worth to the male chauvinistic elite of Tav.
When two of the thirty-six suns surrounding Tav suddenly go out, Princess Dameia is caught between trying to save her planet and the forbidden ally she has found in the rebel leader Hyam. She can either save her people or save him. There’s no in between.
Or is there?!
I can’t decide if I want to do a speed review because Dawn is waiting on it or a long review because this book was SO DANG GOOD.
I guess that settles it, huh? Long review it is.
I shall preface by saying that the words “I’m not a huge third person fan” left my mouth prior to reading this book. I find it sometimes lacking in depth and character emotion. I like my books to be really character driven, and as a result, I enjoy when I get to see inside a character’s head. Third person doesn’t often do it for me.
But this– THIS RIGHT HERE? This is where it’s at.
Dawn has this exceptional way of creating depth and dimension even in third person. She manages to craft an entire world, politics, relationships, drama, gossip– everything. It’s perfectly rounded and beautifully immersive. I felt like I traveled to Tav in the week that I read this book, and I never regretted a moment of it. (As long as I was on that ship, lol)
All that to say, Dawn’s writing in succinct and beautiful. 10/10 for style, honestly.
So we’ve got a magnificently built world, but we’ve also got a spectacular plot. It starts out as a general political style novel–princess wants to prove herself to the men who doubt her by taking on the massive task of preventing–but quickly expands to be a galaxy-encompassing dilemma. The longer you read, the more loops get thrown in. From a Warden with a personal vendetta, a rebel with a weakness, and a king with a secret history, everything fits together like a freakin’ puzzle. I was honestly making predictions and seeing them come into view like a fortune-teller. And for me, that’s big. I hate being blindsided!
I don’t have much to say without giving away the story for future readers, lol. I love Dameia’s devotion to her people while maintaining a bit of a rebel personality herself. She’s kind and understanding but knows when to be tough and forceful. Her acceptance of the humans was what did it for me, because all of the other Tavarians were grossly insensitive to them.
Now Hyam is my bae, and I will take no questions about that. I ADORE his sense of humor and his LOVE for everyone around him. He puts his fellow humans first, even when he has to make the choice between them and the princess he falls head over heels for. He constantly wants what’s best for Dameia and never ONCE tries to put himself over her. If anything, he wants them to be equal, and I just love him for it.
I can’t review these characters without talking about the absolute ARTWORK that is the forbidden romance between Dameia and Hyam. It’s slow, its adorable, it’s heartbreaking–It’s perfect. I was holding my breath for them at the end, rooting for them in the middle, and really wanting to smack them around a bit at the beginning.
Honestly, this book is going into my top ten of the year. I literally bought a paperback version just yesterday, lol.
Some Quotes I Loved
~Her look sharpened. “Hyam.”
Oh, his name on her lips.
“Say it again,” he said softly.
~They could take much. Life and limb and a few things in between. But they could not take his dreams. They could not take his memories.
~“You, Hyam, were my ‘more.’”
Some Snippets from my Twitter ReadAlong
Overall Rating: 6/5 (lol)
Pacing: Moderate. In my opinion, perrrrfect.
Intended Audience: Any, to be honest. I could see sci-fi and romance fans young and old enjoying this.
Content Warnings: Some mild violence, but nothing worth noting.
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B083Q1823T