um, no review right now, too busy crying, good cry, don't worry, LOVED the book, it's beautiful.
OKAY. deep breath.
So I'm procrastinating on an article by writing this, but at least I'm writing, right? Yeah, anyway.
I don't know that I've read a book like this in a while. This one really needs like seven out of five stars. The last time I remember reading a book in such pell-mell haste and reaching the end and just---hanging---was when I read Moonraker's Bride for the first time. Before that, Jane Eyre. In fact, I think I could list to you all the books I've read that yanked me in and ate me up in the process of reading, and when I came out... I'm going to sound like Gandalf when I say "You may never return... and if you do, you will not be the same." So Sang The Dawn is one of those books for me.
The prose is vivid, engaging, and nearly flawless in terms of pacing, plotlines, and flow. The story is sharp, harsh in places, and it hurts in all the right places. This brought me to tears so many times - actual curled-up-on-the-bed SOBBING. I read it in a week which is the fastest I've ever read something of this size. I stayed up late nights reading, which is also unusual for me.
Aurora was entirely too relatable and I slid into her shoes so easily that it scared me. Raine reminds me of my own best friends and made me miss them dearly. I haven't slid so completely into a story in a while and it took me a good two hours after I finished before I could even quite remember me.
Okay. Let's see if we can make some order out of my feelings on this book:
IT'S HUGE. I could win awards for the book yoga I pulled off to be able to read this comfortably. Eh, nah, I couldn't. But anyway. Ever since AnnMarie published, I've been debating whether it would be as big as my cat. The answer (as evidenced on her Instagram @elli_and_indie) is that yes, it is pretty much just as big as my cat. TOTALLY WORTH IT TO HAVE THE PAPERBACK. In a lot of ways it needs to be that big. The story is so big that it needs every single one of its 723 pages.
I loved it. I just totally and absolutely loved it. If I was beta reading, I would point out the three typos I found (and for the record 3 typos over 723 pages is totally insanely good.) That's it. I can't find anything that I feel needs to be changed except that I need the sequel RIGHT NOW PLEASE AND THANK YOU.
The characters, the setting - I won't give you spoilers, but THE WHOLE FREAKING SETTING IS AMAZING. Reading it in February, in the mountains of Western Maine, I knew exactly what she was talking about and I adored it.
The story-telling has a beautiful blend of detail and action that is both poetic and made my heart race.
This is a high fantasy story like few I've read and it has the added delight of a contemporary world and a high fantasy world blending flawlessly.
It's taken me three days to be able to think enough to be able to write a review and knowing me, it will be like three weeks before I can verbally talk about it.
I apparently made a record by sending the author her first ever review in GIFs only.
There is semi-graphic violence and heavy themes, but it's all handled so well, so I recommend for 14+.
I highly recommend getting your copy from AnnMarie's website - you can get it signed, and she does the most amazing wrapping and packaging job. Seriously, that got all the heart eyes from me.
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Copyright 2018 by Annie Louise Twitchell.