From the very beginning, this book catches the attention and holds readers captive throughout the entirety. The novel opens with a character climbing a mountain to get to an ice cave where he finds his dead wife, holding a knife with “Kill the child” chiseled near where she died. His infant son is crying from nearby and is the only survivor among the wreckage and deceased. This is just the opening chapter.

This book is everything one would expect from Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. Black’s iconic imagery and character dynamics feature alongside Clare’s dramatic twists and turns. I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

While it isn’t a YA fiction like I typically read, I did thoroughly enjoy it! Middle grade fictions often have a tendency to be choppy or have cringey dialogue but that wasn’t generally the case in this book. There were a few sections that seemed a little off but overall, the dialogue was smooth and it worked, the flow of the story was a continuous stream throughout.

The descriptions and exposition was absolutely stunning and painted clear pictures as to what was going on. There was never a moment where I didn’t know where things were happening or what the setting was but it also wasn’t distracting from the overall story.

Characters were mostly dynamic and lovable, I can only think of one who didn’t have much depth but I think his development is coming later in the series. Most of the students were interesting and everyone had a lot of layers; the teachers were all individual and unique beings.

Dialogue: 4/5
Exposition: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Overall Story: 5/5

Total rating: 9/10

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