Title: Amber and Dusk
Author: Lyra Selene
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Pages: 368 Pages
Release Date: November 27, 2018
My Rating: ★★★★.25/5
“I may not have been born in a palais, but my bones were forged in the dusk and my veins are alight with dreams. Do not ask whether I deserve a place at court. Ask whether this court deserves me.”
****Thank you to Scholastic Press for sending me an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review!****
Goodreads Synopsis: Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But Sylvie knows it gives her a place in Coeur d’Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her highborn legacies.
So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers.
But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of intrigue in order to claim her spot. Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it appears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer her questions. As Mirage strives to assume what should be her rightful place, she’ll have to consider whether it is worth the price she must pay.
My Review: 4.25/5 stars (SPOILER-FREE)
Characters: FLAWED CHARACTERS!!!!!!!!! REALISTIC CHARACTERS!!!! YES!!!!! Although I would have liked some more development in some characters, the ones that were developed had SO much depth. The main character, Mirage, was strong and brave, yet still made mistakes and struggled to navigate the court. The male lead, Sunder, was so tormented and flawed yet still gentle and full of love and just AHHHHH my heart is full of these characters! They were so realistic that it was almost refreshing to follow them on their journey because it was actually relatable.
Plot: I loved this book, but at certain points it didn’t really feel like anything was happening for pages at a time. I didn’t really discredit the book for this, since I still enjoyed it, but I know that may bother some people. There was one plot twist I personally didn’t see coming, but I could see how others might. I feel like the enjoyability of the plot really depends on the person and how invested in the characters you are or are not. There were a ton of tropes that I love, so I personally really enjoyed this book! Though a little slow at times, I think this book still had a really solid plot that I thoroughly enjoyed!
Writing: On to my favorite part of the book…. THE WRITING!!! Lyra Selene has quickly become one of my favorite writers with this debut. Her writing is magical and lyrical without being tedious or over-descriptive. Words cannot begin to express how engrossed in this book I was because of the writing. I included a powerful quote at the beginning of my review just to show how lyrical the writing is and how strong the MC is! Her writing included relevant political issues and realistic characters that actually made mistakes whilst growing throughout the book. By making mistakes, I don’t mean dumb mistakes where you are just frustrated with the MC, I mean mistakes are made that anyone would make because of lack of experience. This book was just very easy to connect to and mixed with the engrossing writing, I fell in love. There were some problems that usually occur in debuts, mainly just phrases used a little too often. (example: “bile rising in my throat” was used many, many times)
Thank you so much for reading my review! I really hope you enjoyed, and if you want to chat about this, feel free to comment! 🙂
Want to purchase this book? Here’s where you can find it!