Firstly, huge thank you to Josie for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Publisher: Silver Sun Books
Publication Date: 08/10/2020
Length: 268 pages
Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult
Some secrets are worth killing for…GoodReads
The ancient city of Kepos sits in an isolated valley, cut off from the outside world by a towering wall. Behind it, the souls of the dead clamour for release. Or so the priesthood says.
Kala has never had any reason to doubt their word – until her father dies in suspicious circumstances that implicate the city’s high priest. She’s determined to investigate, but she has a more immediate problem: the laws of the city require her mother to remarry straight away.Kala’s new stepfather is a monster, but his son Leon is something altogether more dangerous: kind.
With her family fractured and the investigation putting her life in danger, the last thing Kala needs is romance. She would rather ignore Leon entirely, however difficult he makes it. But when she learns the truth of what really clamours behind the wall at the end of the valley, she faces a choice: share what she knows and jeopardise her escape, or abandon him to his fate along with the rest of the city.
If she doesn’t move fast, then no one will make it out of the valley alive.
I had seen a few people on Twitter talk about Jaffrey’s work recently and I was very excited to see that a new book (and the start of a new series) was being released this year. I was even more excited when I saw that there were ARC’s left to request, I didn’t waste any time in submitting my request and was thrilled that I managed to snag a copy!
I really loved Kala, I thought she was a great protagonist. Despite everyone looking down on her because she needs to walk with a cane, and there are rumours of a more than friends relationship she has with her faithful aid Melissa, she doesn’t let this stand in her way as she tries to find out the truth regarding her father’s death. I also loved her step-brother, Leon. Although he has an awful father who beats him, as well as the slaves of the house, and will do anything for power, Leon does everything he can to ensure that he is nothing like his father. He is incredibly kind and really cares for his not sister Kala and his actual sister, Lali. All of the characters were great, even the ones you’re meant to hate, as they were written very well with an interesting depth to them.
You’re thrown into the plot right away with Kala finding her mother, clearly disturbed by events, who informs her that her beloved father is dead. I thought the pacing was really well done for the most part, although there were a couple of instances where something seemed a little rushed. Without any spoilers, there was a scene towards the end of the novel that seemed very significant but was then quickly brushed over, only for it to come up briefly at the end. As the entire novel is from Kala’s perspective, this really helps when there are some twists in the novel as you don’t expect them at all. There were two reveals in particular that were jaw dropping for me. I also liked how the way romance was written in the novel as, although important to some of the characters, the novel didn’t revolve around it as some YA fiction does.
Something else I wanted to highlight about this novel, as I know a lot of people would appreciate it, is the fact that the novel contains a list of content warnings at the back (and there is a note at the beginning of the novel informing the reader of this too). I think this might be the first novel I’ve read where this was the case which I thought was really neat!
Overall, I definitely will be checking out the next novel in the Deluge series as the ending promises for many more interesting things to come Kala’s way which I want to experience with her! For any YA fantasy lovers out there, I highly recommend this indie title!