Author: Jessica Dall
Title: Raining Embers
Series: Order and Chaos
Rating: Three Petals
On the Author's Website:
Palmer Tash always follows the path of least resistance. He has an unusual disability involving his hearing. But in theocratic Latysia, being different isn’t a good thing, so he conceals his problem.
Brier Chastain’s malady is even more debilitating, and she often must take to her bed for long periods. Her days are spent in meaningless pursuits as she awaits an arranged marriage.
When Palmer and Brier are kidnapped on the same night, they meet and discover that their so-called disabilities are actually budding powers. They are the incarnations of Order and Chaos. With their country on the brink of war, the two must step into their predestined roles and learn to take control of their own destinies.
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to write for this review. The book wasn't great, but it also wasn't bad. It was missing something, but, while I could tell while reading that the story needed just a bit more to go beyond ordinary, I couldn't find a way to put words to that feeling until now: the author didn't have the story fully fleshed out before writing it.
The story begins with a ton of world building. I love world building--it can make or break a book, in my opinion--and this story needed it. The world isn't totally unique. The language and some of the customs feel Italian to me, although there were enough tweaks made by the author so it isn't an exact copy. There are Seers, a type of priest, that rule the country, and the Augur, the equivalent to a Doge. Palmer, one of the main characters, is a ward of the Church in training to become a Seer. The other main character, Brier, lives in the Augur's palace. It was very interesting to read about all of that, but I started to feel like something was missing just from that small part of the story. Nothing was ever fully explained. I don't know what god(s) and the power(s) the Seers use, nor are the politics between them and the Augur ever detailed. I also never managed to get a full picture of the world.
The missing information doesn't stop with just the world building, unfortunately. Both Palmer and Brier have strange powers. One is Order and the other Chaos, but that is all that is given about it. They are supposedly trained to use their magic, but the reader is never told how their powers work. I also never learned why they have their powers in the first place or what the difference is between them and the other people they meet in the book that also have magic.
All of the missing description was necessary for me to understand the full scope of the world, the characters, and the plot. To me, it really felt like the author had a good idea for a story and started writing it without first figuring out all those needed details.
It was still a good book and I did enjoy reading it, but I'm not certain yet whether I want to read the next book in the series.
This was a good book that wasn't quite there yet. Needed details to help flesh out the plot and elevate the story from ordinary to great were missing. I don't think I can recommend this book and I'm not yet certain whether I want to read the next book in the series.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.