In a wild and lawless future, where life is cheap and survival is hard, eighteen-year-old Saba lives with her father, her twin brother Lugh, her young sister Emmi and her pet crow Nero. Theirs is a hard and lonely life. The family resides in a secluded shed, their nearest neighbour living many miles away and the lake, their only source of water and main provider of food, gradually dying from the lack of rain. But Saba's father refuses to leave the place where he buried his beloved wife, Allis, nine years ago. Allis died giving birth to Emmi, and Saba has never forgiven her sister for their mother's death.
But while she despises Emmi, Saba adores her twin brother Lugh. Golden-haired and blue-eyed, loving and good, he seems the complete opposite to dark-haired Saba, who is full of anger and driven by a ruthless survival instinct. To Saba, Lugh is her light and she is his shadow, he is the day, she is the night-time, he is beautiful, she is ugly, he is good, she is bad.
So Saba's small world is brutally torn apart, when a group of armed riders arrives five day's after the twin's eighteenth birthday snatch Lugh away. Saba's rage is so wild, that she manages to drive the men away, but not before they have captured Lugh and killed their father.
And here begins Saba's epic quest to rescue Lugh, during which she is tested by trials she could not have imagined, and one that takes the reader on breathtaking ride full or romance, physical adventure and unforgettably vivid characters, making this a truly sensational YA debut novel.
My Rating: 4/5
The first thing I am going to address about this book is the language. It seems that this is the main issue those who don't like this book have with it. For those who haven't read the book, a lot of words are purposely misspelt. This bothered me at first but by the end I didn't even notice it.
Saba is a very strong character, and one that would probably rival Katniss as the toughest female character in YA literature. I never understood her over infatuation with her brother though, especially when she couldn't even give one example to Jack as to why he was so special.
I liked Emmi by the end of the novel, but I found her extremely annoying to begin with (even more so than Saba did). Emmi probably had the most character growth throughout.
The plot was slow to begin with but it picks up pretty quickly and doesn't slow down at all.
The only thing that bothered me was the lack of chapters but I found myself reading huge portions at a time so it didn't really bother me that much.
I would have liked a bit more backstory to the world building as this would have given another dimension to the story.
I liked how many genres this book touches upon. It's definitively dystopian but has romance, action and even a bit of a western feel to it.