Everless by Sara Holland
Everless is a YA fantasy adventure by Sara Holland. To be honest, I was drawn to this book because I have a friend with the same name as the author, but I was also drawn to it because I thought the premise was also interesting – turning blood into time and used as currency.
Jules and her father used to live at the palace at Everless, but after an accident, they are forced to flee. Since then, they have lived in poverty and on the run. But now that Jules is seventeen, she has an opportunity to return Everless as they prepare for the wedding between Roan and Ina. Liam, Roan’s brother, has always been mean and cruel, and when she returns, Liam is no different. However, there are a lot of unseen dangers for Jules, and the more secrets she uncovers, the less she realizes she knows about herself and those around her.
The characters are basically divided between the rich/royalty and the poor. Jules grew up around Roan and his brother Liam, part of the wealthy Gerlings who are the lords of their land. Roan is set to marry Ina who is the Queen’s adopted daughter and heir to the throne. I felt like the characters could be a little more three dimensional. I didn’t feel connected to a lot of them, but they have potential.
The writing got better when the plot began to move in the last ten chapters. But I found the folklore about the Sorceress and the Alchemist a little hard to follow. The rest of the storyline was pretty easy to follow, but the lore is actually a foundation for a lot of the plot twists that occur. So, it got problematic at times. And because the folklore was convoluted, the big revelations felt like meh…
As far as theme, there was a lot of repeating the idea of how callously the upper class used the blood-irons that the lower class suffered to make. Since Jules lived among the lower class for so long, it seemed to be all she focused on when she was among the upper class. But they weren’t mean, just didn’t understand how much privilege they wasted daily.
I don’t remember there being any distinct profanity used in the book. There was one kiss in the book, and I think there was a hint of infidelity, but no sexual content. Considering you pay for things with blood-iron, which is made by draining blood, there’s definitely some violence, some death, but none of it seemed too grotesque.
The book was okay. It definitely felt like it will be part of a series because it came with a bit of a cliffhanger at the end. But I don’t know if I will read the next book. I just didn’t feel invested in a lot of the characters or in the lore. It was a solid three stars for me.
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