From the moment the first settler dug a well and struck a lode of shine, the world changed. Now, everything revolves around that magical oil.
What began as a simple scouting expedition becomes a life-changing ordeal for Arlen Esco. The son of a powerful mogul, Arlen is kidnapped and forced to confront uncomfortable truths his father has kept hidden. In his hands lies a decision that will determine the fate of everyone he loves—and impact the lives of every person in Shine Territory.
The daughter of an infamous saboteur and outlaw, Cassandra has her own dangerous secrets to protect. When the lives of those she loves are threatened, she realizes that she is uniquely placed to change the balance of power in Shine Territory once and for all.
Secrets breed more secrets. Somehow, Arlen and Cassandra must find their own truths in the middle of a garden of lies.
If you were looking for a typical fantastical read, that has magic, politics, love and heartbreak- I’m sorry to say this isn’t it. Nothing Sarah Chorn writes is typical, but it is all must read.
She weaves poetic words into an intoxicating vision that tears your heart out and attempts to put it back in only to rip it out again. I could read this book a thousand times and still be just as affected by the beauty in her words, while taking away different themes and meanings with each read. I cried in so many places, so much sadness, but also tears of joy. How can a book make you so freaking sad, but also fill you with hope?!
The world building is fantastic, could totally see it playing out as such in a current society. Replace the word Shine with any coveted resource, and monsters will be created to try and monopolize it. I adored the use of timeline jumping and multi POVs. Gave the story a depth and transcends storytelling as we usually see it.
Having a terminally ill child, Ianthe’s character struck home a little too hard for me. Ugh, I could rave about how well written the characters in this book are FOREVER!
This book includes: deep family values, love/hate, loss/acceptance, morally grayness, and LGBT characters written so fluidly/perfect it was one of the most natural depictions I’ve read, all tied up in a nice little package.
You’ll love this book if you love multi pov character stories, with deep seeded messages to ponder, and books that make you feel.