Even the Darkest Stars
Author: Heather Fawcett
Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.
But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means climbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer who is determined to best River, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.
The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and even worse at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth of their mission and of her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.
Kamzin wants to be an explorer like her late mother, but she is expected to be a shaman. When the emperor’s Royal Explorer shows up, she finally gets her chance. She goes on a journey with him to act as a guide as she is one of the only people who know how to get to Mount Raksha. At the top of this mountain there is supposedly a powerful talisman that they need to retrieve. Kamzin’s best friend, Tem, insists on going along with her because he’s obviously in love with her and she’s got the hots for the famous Royal Explorer.
The world building in this book was amazing! It was a beautiful, magical world and you can envision it so vividly while you read. I loved the setting of the mountains, the magical elements, witches, fire demons, and creepy bird people!
This book had so much potential! The main characters were pretty well developed and I did find myself caring about them, the secondary characters although were pretty forgettable. I wish they were better developed. The journey they go in seemed so long and dull, I think it could have definitely used more action.
Kamzin has an older sister who goes missing and they believe that she is trying to beat them to the top of the mountain to have the talisman for herself. I thought there was going to be this super exciting story where the sisters battle each other. Sadly, I was wrong. There wasn’t much to this part of the story and there could have been so much excitement added to the story if there was. I would have loved to see more about the witches and magical side of the story. I also don’t understand why so many stories have the best friend that the girl ignores for the new guy. (Hunger Games?) it’s annoying to me. Just ignore the guy who loves you and is always there for you for some random guy you don’t even know. *eyeroll*
I honestly can’t even remember the ending of this story. I did enjoy it I just felt like it was really missing something. I’m not sure if I will be reading the sequel but I’m hoping it will live up to my expectations more than this one.
Have you read this book or any other book by this author? What are your thoughts?