The Books of Mortals series is based in a world where every emotion but fear has been wiped via alchemy to attain Order (and might I say, I love this concept). The main character, Rom, discovers a vial that restores full and normal life as we know it, and it begins to cause a revolution. This book–SPOILERS if you haven’t read the first, Forbidden–concerns the restoration of the Sovereign, Jonathan, to the throne, in an effort to restore life to the world.
The idea is fantastic, for how is it best to create order than create a fear centralized around earning good standing in the afterlife–that existentialist dread that we humans normally try to stave off–obtained by following the laws of the land. If anyone has read the Old Testament, yes that should sound oddly familiar. This series is Christian fantasy; at times it doesn’t seem like it at all, and then at times it is screaming at you. I am a Christian, and yet at times it feels so preachy, that if I want to read that, I’ll read the Bible–so preachy, in fact, that it is also probably not a good witnessing tool, which may be its intention. ESSENTIALLY, it tries so hard to be Narnia or Tolkien, but it falls short. My favorite parts of the book are the parts where it does a good job and doesn’t feel exactly like the Bible. Those parts made me like the book. It’s all about subtlety, people.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the rest of it.
I love the characters. I care about Rom, I really do, as well as Feyn, another main character who’s roll in the story is even more central than Rom (but spoilers). And they’re all pretty believable, which is a mark of good writing.
On that note, the descriptions are AMAZING, vibrant, enthralling. You don’t want to put the book down almost because of those alone.
So parts of the book were great, and parts simply weren’t (the ending I might put in the weren’t part). Will I read the third book in the series? Yes. Partially because I already have it, and partially because I want to find out what happens. My overall rating: 2.9/5 stars (evidently I can’t quite give it a 3, but it wasn’t a 2 that’s for sure).