Tarisai has had an… unusual …childhood.
She’s spent it isolated in a mansion, surrounded by servants afraid to touch her and desperately wanting the love of “The Lady” (who is the closest to a ‘mother’ that Tarisai has ever seen).
Once The Lady deems Tarisai old enough, she’s sent to the capital of the Aritsar empire to compete with children all over to become one of the 11.
In this world, the princes and kings are surrounded by their council of 11 – each of which has a unique gift (like strength, or speed) and have absolute and unwavering loyalty to their ruler. Once a ruler has his council, the emperor is immune to all forms of death except old age.
If Tarisai is picked, then she will devote her life (willingly) to the crown prince but very quickly she realizes that her fond memories of “The Lady” don’t match up with The Lady’s true intentions.
As Tarisai bonds with the crown prince, she becomes aware that every moment spent with him is a step closer to his death.
Overall – this was a pretty dang good book.
The world was richly done and compelling to read. The way gods interwove with humans felt natural and was fascinating to watch.
I loved the way magic was portrayed in this book – the little (and big) powers that the children had were really neat to learn about.
Tarisai’s character felt very real to me, and so did the crown prince. The other characters were a bit more like blips on the background and I wish I could’ve known them on a deeper level.
I did feel a bit disappointed by the last quarter of the book.
I kinda liked the direction the book was going but then the social and political issues started growing exponentially and I could feel myself tuning out a bit (I’m not a big politics reader).
Overall, I did rather enjoy this book though! Definitely check it out if it sounds interesting to you!!