So many plots and layers,
This review is from: A Sorcerer's Treason (Isavalta Trilogy) (Paperback)
Sorcerers and Sorceresses. Witches and animal spirits. The world of the dead, the world of the living. Zombie like creatures. All are in this well-written, first volume of the Isavalla trilogy.
Nothing in this book is at it seems. A lighthouse keeper as a heroine is an unusual choice, but it provides a platform for Bridget to meet the Sorcerer Kalami. Unlike the other sailors she rescues, Kalami presents a dilemma for Bridget. No matter what she does, he's stays by her side until she agrees to go back to his world with him. A world seeped in lies, deceptions, and disguises, which has everyone - the dowager Empress, the Empress, the Emperor, the guards, the handmaidens/servants - wrapped up so tightly that it takes Bridget's appearance to disrupt life.
There is little more I can say on the story without giving any of this well constructed novel. Initially I was rather confused about all the alliances and plots. It seemed every time I turned the page another layer threw itself on the already quite high mountain of mystery. And yet, by the end I understood it all very well.
The characters certainly aren't 2D. It took a while until I really connected with Bridget, I preferred the Empress Ananda. What Ananda goes through tweaked my emotions, something that didn't happen for Bridget until at least halfway through. I did get there eventually; it felt like her character suddenly blossomed out and became the type of protagonist I adore reading about; quick thinking and strong willed. There isn't a character I didn't care for; the secondary characters are fleshed out and either had me cheering them on or praying they met disasters.
There were moments when I nearly put the book down: certain things were very easy for Bridget to do, there wasn't always a challenge for her. I'm glad I stuck it out and kept going for the action picks up just as her character matures.