Top positive review
Reviewed in India on 14 April 2016
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one. While the premise was really intriguing, the execution was a little off, but enjoyable nonetheless. The main characters were fleshed out to an extent, but it was the YA-typical combination of world-on-my-shoulders hero and badass heroine. And for all of Shazi's awesomeness, I thought Khalid treated her like a damsel in distress quite frequently.
I found a lot of the secondary characters very interesting, but sadly they were a little one-dimensional and largely neglected. Also there wasn't much character development so much as development of romance. I really enjoyed the chemistry between the main characters, but I really would have liked to have seen some character development.
While the exchanges between female characters were refreshing, I think a lot of the conversation between Shazi and Khalid was passive-aggressive, and that's something that generally irks me.
Giving this 4 stars based on the writing, the world and magic (although I'd like to have seen more of it), the characters to an extent, and the fact that it held my attention enough for me to have finished it in a day. I will definitely be picking up the next book once it's out.
With regard to this particular hardcover edition, the sides of the paper have an uneven kind of torn appearance. This is called Deckled Edges, and are a deliberate design reminiscent of what was found in the book trade in the 19th century. In no way does it take away from the content of the book.