Author: Sara Holland
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication Date: 4th January 2018
Format: ARC eBook
This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review
About the book:
Time is a prison. She is the key. Packed with danger, temptation and desire – a perfect read for fans of The Red Queen.
In the land of Sempera, the rich control everything – even time. Ever since the age of alchemy and sorcery, hours, days and years have been extracted from blood and bound to iron coins. The rich live for centuries; the poor bleed themselves dry.
Jules and her father are behind on their rent and low on hours. To stop him from draining himself to clear their debts, Jules takes a job at Everless, the grand estate of the cruel Gerling family.
There, Jules encounters danger and temptation in the guise of the Gerling heir, Roan, who is soon to be married. But the web of secrets at Everless stretches beyond her desire, and the truths Jules must uncover will change her life for ever … and possibly the future of time itself.
What I Thought:
I never really thought of myself as a fantasy fan. I loved Harry Potter as a child – and still do – but I didn’t get on at all with The Hobbit, I’ve never read or watched Game Of Thrones or Discworld. But then I was told to read Gilded Cage and I discovered actually maybe I am a bit of a fantasy fan after all!
The premise of Everless intrigued me so I requested it on NetGalley and was lucky enough to be given a copy to read and I am so pleased I did! In Sempera time is money, quite literally, in ancient times a way to remove time from a person’s blood and bind it to iron coins was discovered. The only currency in the land the poor pay their debts with them, and if you can’t afford it, don’t worry just pop round to your time lender and he’ll extract a week or two, whatever you need to pay your rent. Meanwhile the wealthy collect the coins, they get to live for centuries, it’s easy when you can dissolve a year in your tea whenever you feel like it! Wealthy families such as the Gerlings who live at Everless.
The central character in the story is Jules Ember, Jules was once happy at Everless, the daughter of the blacksmith she grew up friends with one of the Gerling brothers but then there was an accident and Jules and her father were forced out of Everless, left to try and make ends meet to pay their taxes. Concerned with how much time her father is giving up, and now classed as an adult herself she tries to persuade her father to let her visit the time lender instead, when that fails she’s left with one option, find work as a servant and make her way back to the Gerlings and Everless. I found Jules to be such a captivating character and I adored going on this journey with her.
Sara also creates a rich cast of supporting characters, from Roan Gerling Jules’ childhood friend and his older brother Liam, to the Queen, Ina Gold her heir and Caro her handmaid. Each character felt developed in their own right and I really enjoyed discovering more about them as I made my way through the story, and believe me my opinions on each of them kept changing with each bit of new information I discovered!
And the plot! As I said the premise intrigued me and the plot didn’t let me down! Without going into details that would spoil it I will say the story is incredibly well paced, with little details that will keep you turning the pages eager to find out a little more. I especially loved the depth of detail within the book, for me it was clear that Sara had put a lot of thought into the history of Sempera and I really loved the gradual reveal of the story of the sorceress and the alchemist. I thought the level of detail included within the plot was just right to provide the needed information without slowing the main story but I would happily read more about the sorceress and the alchemist, or discover more about Sempera’s past and the queen.
Would I Recommend?
I wanted to start of my 2018 on a reading high and this certainly didn’t disappoint! Following Jules’s journey through the novel, and discovering more about her and the characters around her was a complete delight, I may have read this on the first day of 2018 but if this isn’t on my top ten reads of the year I’ll be amazed! Magic, nobility, and characters to love and distrust, what’s not to love – Definitely one to read! I’ll be picking up a copy to sit permanently on my shelves and I’m hoping there’s more to come from the land of Sempera!
Want to buy it?
As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?