Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
“Time is a prison. She is the key. Packed with danger, temptation and desire – a perfect read for fans of The Red Queen.
In the land of Sempera, the rich control everything – even time. Ever since the age of alchemy and sorcery, hours, days and years have been extracted from blood and bound to iron coins. The rich live for centuries; the poor bleed themselves dry.
Jules and her father are behind on their rent and low on hours. To stop him from draining himself to clear their debts, Jules takes a job at Everless, the grand estate of the cruel Gerling family.
There, Jules encounters danger and temptation in the guise of the Gerling heir, Roan, who is soon to be married. But the web of secrets at Everless stretches beyond her desire, and the truths Jules must uncover will change her life for ever … and possibly the future of time itself.”
After hearing the synopsis of this book I requested it immediately and I am so pleased that I was approved. Fantasy is a genre that I am drawn to so I often see story lines regurgitated but this premise is very unique and not something that I have seen done before. It is not a perfect book by all means, and Holland does fall into some traps commonly fallen into by debut authors but it was very enjoyable.
The writing flowed well and made light work of explaining such a complex idea. The world and concept of blood as currency was fully explored and so deeply ingrained in every part of the story that it becomes a totally believable notion. I would have liked to have seen more detail surrounding the mythology, as at times the lack of explanation made it a bit confusing. Hopefully the sequel will give me the extra information that I desire.
The characters were multi-layered and I loved how realistic they felt. The side characters were developed and well rounded. Holland didn’t waste time with an insta-love romance or any love triangles (which I am very thankful for) but the brief romance did feel a little forced. I would rather have seen either nothing of this nature, or mentioned further along in the series. This is personal preference and doesn’t take away from a brilliant book.
Overall the plot was incredibly unique and captivating, and it’s a strong novel despite its few flaws. 4 out of 5 stars from me.