Author Sara Holland
Description from Amazon
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.
No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.
But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
The main concept of this book was what drew me in. I had never seen a story where years of life were a form of currency.
I liked the cover. The hourglass was very fitting and I like the buzz line.
“Time is a prison. She is the key.”
However, I thought the skyline on the front looked a little too much like the palace in Aladdin. I pictured a castle or a village around a castle. If we’re using Disney movies as reference, something like in Beauty and Beast. So I thought the image inside the hour-glass didn’t fit my imagination of the setting.
Liam – I read so many books where there is a guy the main girl is obsessed with and he has a mean older brother (who is almost always misunderstood and actually not mean). But Liam went above and beyond that trope. He was so deep into his cover of trying to protect her, that I honestly was shocked when he turned out to be a nice guy.
I thought his character had a huge turnaround and I liked him more for it.
Something I Wasn’t Crazy About
I thought there were too many useless side characters. Roan, for example, was not very necessary. Jules would have been fine if she never knew Roan and she just had Liam. I mean, he was a nice guy and all and he seemed to like her, but once you read this book, I think you’ll agree, he didn’t need to be there.
Even Ina seemed rather useless throughout the story. I guess she was just there to be competition for Jules’ affection for Roan, but again, Roan himself was useless, therefore Ina was somewhat redundant as well.
I liked this book well enough to read the sequel, Evermore. I have some strong opinions about that book so look out for that in my next post. But, that aside, I did like this story. The world building was unique and the setting was interesting.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Evermore by Sara Holland – despite the fact that I did not love the sequel, I think it’s a necessary read if you liked this story.
- The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano – this is another story about a girl who seems ordinary but discovers she has special abilities. She is hunted by people who want to use her powers for evil and she falls in love with someone who she originally considered her enemy.
- Princess in the Opal Mask and Opal Crown by Jenny Lundquist – both of these stories contain secret royals and sisters trying to save their homelands. Additionally, both sisters fall in love during the course of the two books.