ISLAND OF EXILES ARC REVIEW
AUTHOR: Erica Cameron
SERIES: The Ryogan Chronicles #1
PUBLICATION DATE: February 14 2017
PUBLISHER: Entangled Teen
SOURCE: ARC from publisher
In this diverse, gritty survival fantasy, a girl warrior turns against her island clan to find the brother they claim died, uncovering secrets. Perfect for fans of Graceling and Snow Like Ashes.
In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle.
On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.
But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya's home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she's never seen.
To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run—a betrayal and a death sentence.
Khya has always succeeded in her life. She has a rare and powerful power that allowed her to climb up to one of the highest fighting ranks in the island. Being the daughter of two of the second most powerful people in the island, she strives to meet everyone's expectations. But Tessen, another powerful individual seems to take all her promotions even though he treats it like a joke. But when Khya's younger brother is in danger of being classified as one of the lowest ranked citizens because he has no magic, Khya will do anything to keep her brother, Yorri, at her side. Because being a Yonin-the lowest class of citizens-means that Khya will not get to see her brother and she's not about to let that happen. But it turns out. Yorri did keep secrets from her and when he finds himself in danger, Khya will stop at nothing to save her brother even if it means working with Tessen.
Extremely complex and interesting world building, you could tell the author put in a lot of effort into every teensy tiny detail to create a flawless setting! It's totally different from anything i've ever read and immediately gripping!
At the beginning of the book i was quite overwhelmed with all the new terms! And while it totally amplifies that already perfect world building, it did get quite confusing. It's not an onslaught of information but these terms are familiar for the characters and not to us so i did have a hard time keeping up...But there was a guide at the end of the book and it helped a lot so it was just a minor little con.
While i was a fan of both Tessen and Khya together and thought they did go super well together. I somehow didn't really connect with the romance. And i guess that's a good thing because the book is more plot focused and a complex love story would have taken too much attention away from the story. That being said, i loved Tessen's way of weaseling his way into Khya's life even though she kept pushing him away. He was relentless in helping her when she just wanted him to leave her alone. So no insta-love! Plus they've known each other since they were kids.
Favorite character? Yorri, Khya's brother. I just LOVED the dude. There is the sweetest bro-sis relationship in this book! And Yorri was just so protective and sweet and at the same time his mind and intelligence pushed against all the limits of his society. His unique intellect was something only his sister saw and appreciated. They would go to the ends of the earth to save each other. It was so sweet that Khya was always trying to protect and take care of Yorri!
Props for diversity!!!!! In the story there are 3 genders and no one cares which one you are! No one cares if you're heterosexual or homosexual. In fact, our MC is a Bisexual and no one bats an eye! It was refreshing to read about this kind of society.
Plot wise do not expect a single dull moment, it is filled to the brim with action. Something is always happening and everyone is always on the move!
A thrilling and adventurous read set in an outstanding and complex world building?YES TO ALL. Can't wait for the sequel!