Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 400 pages
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
“When Trei loses his family in a tragic disaster, he must search out distant relatives in a new land. The Floating Islands are unlike anything Trei has ever seen: stunning, majestic, and graced with kajurai, men who soar the skies with wings.
Trei is instantly sky-mad, and desperate to be a kajurai himself. The only one who fully understands his passion is Araene, his newfound cousin. Prickly, sarcastic, and gifted, Araene has a secret of her own . . . a dream a girl cannot attain.
Trei and Araene quickly become conspirators as they pursue their individual paths. But neither suspects that their lives will be deeply entwined, and that the fate of the Floating Islands will lie in their hands. . .”
I have had this book on my to be read pile for quite a while. I really enjoyed this young adult fantasy. There’s some great world-building here and I enjoyed the characters and their adventures.
The story did take a bit to get going; I thought the first 60 pages or so were a bit slow. After that though I was completely drawn into the story and engaged with our two main characters.
The story alternates between Trei (a young man who has lost his whole family and arrives in the floating islands seeking his uncle) and Araene (a young woman who desperately wants the freedom given to the men of her home island and who is an exceptional chef). Both characters were equally engaging and interesting. Both characters grow a ton throughout this short novel and really start to develop into amazing people.
The story has a very classic fantasy feel to it with magic and dragons and countries at war. The writing style is beautiful and flows well making the book easy to read. I was impressed with how much was packed into this stand alone book, I really enjoyed it.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this fantasy story. It starts a bit slow but as it continued I was impressed with how much world-building, story, and character development was packed into this brief novel. I would definitely recommend to those who enjoy traditional fantasy types of stories.