Fei and her village are deaf, and now are becoming blind. With the levels of food dropping, all the artists are allowed only to continue to paint the scenes of life. Fei longs to draw other things, but with her own work and her sister’s to do, she must
What I liked about this novel was that magic didn’t seem to be a big part of the world, until it suddenly was. It was more about what real people could do when faced with difficult conditions, and what would cause a tipping point between fear and retaliation.
I loved that the storyline required me to pay attention. Not only were the world details beautifully realised, I could see each of the characters in their worn clothing. And around that, I still had to concentrate on the storyline – which kept me reaching for the novel after lights-out. Despite there being a beinga ‘love story’ running through this, it isn’t annoying or cloying and it doesn’t get in the way of the storyline.
Although Fei is always professing love for her sister, I’m not sure that I got a real sense of that. Yes, her sister gave her reasons to change things, but I think that inside Fei felt like she had to do something too. I’m not complaining exactly, but I just wanted more ‘feelings’ and to empathise with Fei more.
This novel reflects on modern society if you look for it. Although we might think of mining as ‘only’ being a dirty job now, the reality is that in poorer developing countries, people are still being treated like Fei’s village.
Considering that the author wrote two vampire series that I’m not interested in, I was a little afraid about the quality of this work. Not only was I pleasantly surprised, I might even consider reading other things – just anything but vampires!
Thanks to Penguin Random House for my free review copy!