Here's the summary from Goodreads: In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined: Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct. Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making. Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield. Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . . The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?
What I Liked: 1) I liked the setting. It was a completely new world, with it's own rules, it's own cultures and traditions. And because there were three kingdoms being explored, there were three different cultures to learn about. Some of their traditions were the same or similar across the land, but many were different. 2) I liked the magic that was in this world. I actually would have liked more, but it's inclusion made everything even more unstable while the kingdoms were at war. 3) I liked Cleo for the most part. She was the character that we got to know the best, and while she was a little whiny, she was reckless and impulsive, and very caring. Everything she did, while reckless, was to save her sister, and I thought that was great. It was something I would definitely do.
What I Didn't Like: There were too many "main characters." The way it's written, Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are all main characters, and we explore the story in different times from their perspectives. It's very confusing to decide who it is to trust, and for me, I don't particularly like unreliable narrators. When it comes to main characters, I want to be able to get to know them well enough to decide what side they are on.
Overall Thoughts: This has been called a YA Game of Thrones. Well, I've never read or watched Game of Thrones, so I can't make any comparisons. I can tell you that the somewhat medieval setting and the magical properties of this world are very well written and are the shining stars of this book. However, the number of main characters to keep track of started becoming tedious. Thank goodness they weren't Russian, or I'd have never kept track of them. I don't know if I'll be sticking with this series, but fans of the Game of Thrones series should definitely give this one a shot!
My Rating: 2 shots