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Shadows of Absolution Paperback – July 12, 2012
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The main word I can use to describe this book is fascinating. The characters, the world setting, the magic systems...all of it. I am sad that my first interaction with this series was book 5 in a series, but that gives me hope because it means there is more of this awesome world to explore.
I really enjoyed the characters, Dacibrega's metamorphosis was incredibly interesting, I have never seen a story with someone who could change genders and I think seeing people's reaction to that in story was amazing, if not gut wrenching at times. Anyone who has been at the very bottom of despair can relate to Isen, Holly is harder to relate to but I could not help but feel incredible sadness for him. There are certainly several times I teared up while reading this book.
The word setting and its unusual breed of magic is probably my favorite thing about this book and definitely going to drive me to seek out the others in this series. I have always been fascinated with stories that take place in post-apocalypse worlds and this story certainly has a good one. Mixing magic with a once thriving technological world, and getting to see the ruins of said world was enjoyable. I do wish we could have seen a few more ruined cities or maybe run into more pockets of civilization.
I found the book had a slightly slow start, setting up characters and such. Mainly because we are from the perspective of Isen and her constant soul crushing despair made it hard to get through at first, but once other characters arrived and joined center stage the plot moved quickly. It was one of those 'read in one night' sort of things after the first 50 or so pages.
The ending was extremely bitter-sweet. That is all I am going to say on that subject.