Dienstag, 21. November 2017

[Review] Island of Exiles - Erica Cameron

Titel: Island of Exiles
Series: The Ryogan Chronicles #1
Author: Erica Cameron
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Format: Kindle
Synopsis: GoodReads
Review: 5*, GoodReads, Amazon

In this diverse, gritty survival fantasy, a girl warrior turns against her island clan to find the brother they claim died, uncovering secrets. Perfect for fans of Graceling and Snow Like Ashes.
In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle.
On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.
But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya's home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she's never seen.
To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run—a betrayal and a death sentence.

Wow. I honestly don’t know what to say. I finished this book yesterday and suffered the worst book hangover! I only started the book this week and I couldn’t get through it fast enough. I thought my favorites for the year were already set in stone, but I have to add this one to the list, I’m just blown away.

I absolutely loved the world-building. This world is something I’ve never seen, or read about, before and it’s simply amazing. I love the fact that she invented a third gender and while I had trouble keeping the pronouns straight, I think it was not only a fantastic idea but also the writing was very well done. There were some problems I had with the societal structure Cameron built, but throughout the book the characters became aware of those problems and dealt with them in their own way, which only added to the layers of the story.
The way sex, intimacy and relationships are dealt with here is quite different from our own society but I really like the way it is done. This goes hand in hand with the way everyone has to get permission before touching someone else, while this seems unpractical to me, as you can’t just touch someone else when their back is turned, for example, but it is rule that can be very useful.
What I’m not so sure about is the way children are raised communally, as I have trouble distancing myself from the idea of an actual family.

I immediately connected with Khya and and Tessen and I ship them so hard! They are perfect for each other, even if it takes Khya a long time to figure it out.
Her relationship with Yorri on the other hand was somewhat worrisome to me. I get that they are incredibly important to each other and she takes her role as older sister very seriously, but I think she does what she thinks is best for him, and doesn’t give him the chance to show her certain parts of himself. But this is another thing she realizes later on, we can only hope it is not too late.

The plot is fast paced and adventurous, as befits a warrior people . There is a lot of fighting, both in training and for real, there are storms and floods and a great conspiracy thrown in as well. For some people there might be a little too much happening a little too fast, but I loved it!

There are a lot of words and ranks that need to be remembered, and even with the glossary in the back of the book this can be quite confusing, but I didn’t feel like it hinders the story in any way, and I can’t wait for the second book to be released.

This book was provided for me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion in any way.

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