This is the first book I finished reading in 2016. Eleanor Herman’s book is also one of the few historical fiction YA books I’ve read, and it was pretty fantastic.
Synopsis: Alexander, heir to the throne of Macedonia, is ready to take on some more responsibility and prove himself. With the help of his childhood best friend Hephaestion and his newfound friend Katerina, worlds collide in an epic adventure. But someone is using blood magic in the palace, and the Aesarian Lords–who want to eliminate the existence of magic–are in attendance for the Blood Tournament, which means trouble for our characters.
All right, let’s just jump into this. (Fair warning, I will have a couple of spoilers, but nothing too big that it will completely ruin the story for you.)
There were a gajillion POVs. I would’ve been satisfied with Alex, Heph, and Kat (and maybe Cynane). They were the main people for me, so the others were superfluous. When it comes to POVs, I don’t mind the shift. Take The 5th Wave for instance. I liked the changing perspectives. In The Infinite Sea there were other characters added who were pretty minor in the first book, but we were able to get to know them better as time moved on. Had Eleanor decided to work in those characters’ perspectives in her next book, I think that would have worked out better. Luckily, my sister read this before me and gave me the heads up to the MANY POVs. The one person I could absolutely do without was Zofia though. All the other characters intertwined pretty nicely, but Zofia didn’t really do that, as in she didn’t add anything to the bigger picture. Besides, she kind of sucked–too much whining from her end.
And the plot thickens! I’ve seen a few reviews where people complained of the slow world building. I actually thought is was paced nicely enough where I got a sense of Alexander’s world. I did, however, wish there was a map because there was a lot of moving around. (I know this is historical fiction, so I could technically look up an old map of Macedonia, but I’m lazy.)
I did do a bit of shipping in the book. Kat and Jacob were just meh from the start. I mean I understand they grew up with each other and this made them close, but I just didn’t see it with their personalities. I did not ship Cynane with anyone just because she seemed best on her own. I started shipping Kat and Alex the moment they met. (I feel like an idiot for thinking that now.) At the same time, I also shipped Kat with Heph a little because I like it when characters clash in the beginning–makes for nice dialogue and wishful thinking.
I really liked this book (aside from Zofia) so it gets 4 out of 5 stars from me!