I was so excited for a chance to review this book for Jenna Black. I've read most of her books and enjoyed all of them. I even enjoyed her young adult Faeriewalker series, and I'm not a huge fan of the young adult genre.
I will start off saying that I had a hard time with this book at the beginning, but that could've been me. I was reading for twenty minutes here and thirty minutes there. So I had a hard time getting into the characters and who was who, etc. However, once I sat down and got to read for extended periods of time, I devoured this book.
This book is a combination of political twist and corruption, but with a twist of magic. I've even seen it compared with House of Cards, which I can see if you just add magic. For years, the Gifted have been the lesser of the two and were treated as witches and the like. Now, the Gifted and UnGifted live in an unsteady peace. The Gifted have their own ruling council, but they no longer have the power that they once did, since they now have to follow UnGifted laws, just like everyone else.
People are given gifts that the Anima feels that person will need at some point in their life. The Anima is almost like the Force (from Star Wars, not the best description, but that is the closest analogy I could think of), but with more sentience to it. It is composed of the spirits of those deemed worthy of consecration. If you are deemed unworthy, you are cremated. The problem is, that someone is going around and digging up consecrated graves and burning the bodies with his Gift. This would remove that spirit from the Anima, and that spirit would no longer be available as a Spirit Guide to the living Gifted.
Gifts are given to people as they complete a quest. The number of quests that a person gets is, once again determined by the Anima. The quest that is required is also determined by the Anima. Everything is done for a reason. Gifted trust when the Anima send them on a quest, they generally do it without hesitation. It is a religion to the Gifted. If the Anima, tells you to kill someone, you do it and you will be rewarded with a new Gift.
This book has a lot of well-developed characters. It is hard to keep some of them straight. There are of family ties between different people and who has more power in the family. The plot was very suspenseful with a lot of plot twists. The story also takes place in several different parts of the world.
I can't wait to see where this story goes in the next book. There is a small thread that is left open for book two. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries with political machinations with a paranormal twist.
**Book was provided to me by the author. This review is my opinion and was not requested or provoked in anyway by the author.