Three hundred years ago, something arose and pushed humanity to the brink of extinction. Now, a small remnant – the ancestors of the few survivors who were able to escape the massacre below – lives above the clouds, on the top of a mountain. But there’s been a change. Their water supply is being poisoned. Someone, or something down below is trying to kill them. Now an expedition, including seventeen year-old girl Icelyn Brathius, must descend and face the monsters that wiped out civilization centuries ago.
Review by Katy Haye:
This was entirely gorgeous. I’ve had some disappointing reads lately, and this has perked me right back up. It’s deliciously different and a stonking good read.
The world-building was magical. I got to know the world of the kith to begin with, then the world expanded as Ice’s journey began as questions arose and then were answered. It was completely convincing with history and philosophy behind the world and its people (only not dull, like that makes it sound!).
And the people were wonderful. I don’t want to use the word characters because they were so much more than that: complex and changeable. Ice and Ad’s relationship was convincingly mercurial, and I loved Torrain in particular; his development through the course of the story was a real pleasure to watch.
There were several strands of plot that played out and came together as the story developed and explanations of what had happened to cause humanity’s retreat were uncovered, all of which were perfectly paced. And the reveal of what was “the threat below” wasn’t at all what I expected, but it fit the world beautifully.
Altogether, this was wonderful. The only thing I can’t rave about is the cover, which to me is bleargh. But don’t let that put you off (if it was even in danger of doing so) – this is SO worth reading!
Glorious five out of five.