• Kestrel, rhymes with thestral right? Like from Harry Potter?
  • OK, character thoughts so far:
    • Jess is a pointless character. Also why are they friends? They don’t seem to have anything in common and Kestral seems to zone out whenever Jess is speaking.
    • Ronan is a creep. He hides it under being “flirtatious” but he has possessive tendencies and it’s very unbecoming of him.
  • Ew. Rax is repulsive.
  • Kestral’s moral compass (see below for more)
  • OK. I’m confused, she welcomes Ronan’s attention, but when we first meet Ronan, she didn’t seem thrilled he treated her like a girlfriend?
  • So Kestrel is 17, Arin is competant at riding a horse, playing Bite and Sting, speaks Valorian and the like, so how old is he? By my accounts to know all of the aforementioned skills he’d have to be at least 25-30 so he’s at least a teenager when the Valorians invaded 10 years ago.
  • Oh, OK. He’s 22, well I guess that’s believable.
  • You’re telling me out of a WHOLE ship NO ONE can remember the code to call? Seriously????
  • In the wine, that seems pretty standard. OMGosh, well after all that’s happened. I guess I can see how that would ruin Kestrel’s reputation, but I don’t 100 percent understand.
  • OMGOSH, everyone knows she’s said “no” to Ronan now.
  • I feel for Ronan, it can’t be fun to be so forward and then receive vague confirmations whether your feelings are returned, then be rejected so publicly. Although to be fair he made is public by proposing at the dance of all places. Also Ronan made it sound like marrying him is just a way to escape her responsibility, like he can save her or something.
  • Well I took a break from this book, and by took a break, I mean took like 2 weeks to read it. And at least 7 of those days read none of it. So I have some random thoughts and some chronological thoughts.
    1. I like the premise of this book, but I felt like nothing really happened in this book. She goes to parties and she plays the piano and the last 100 pages things start to get really interesting. I understand casual day-to-day stuff in fiction a little better than action/adventure books. I don’t like how slow it was for being portrayed as a “action” book.
    2. Kestrel, I can’t figure out. Like she’s portrayed as having this small conscious at the beginning of the book, and at times she seems like she has a moral compass—and I’m fine with characters who have a morally gray compass, I really am—but to me, it felt like her moral compass had no reason behind them. It was confusing for me as a reader. She obviously has no problem working and subscribing to the views of the empire, so why does she break rules? If anything that’s a way to NOT get what she wants in terms of being a strategist, not a soldier. Is she going to defeat the Herranis? I’m not even sure what the main conflict is going to be when I was 80 pages in.
    3. Another thing, Kestrel has all these goals and desires, but they’re completely forgotten about. Like she was going to be a strategist. And then after like 50 pages, she’s forgotten about it and we hear nothing for the rest of the time. Like goodbye goals. Who needs you??
  • Blub blub, OK emperor. Whatever, like OK, distract the people. Wonder how the son will feel about this…
  • 5/10—Average. I only gave it 5, not 4 because the end did make me want to read the sequel, and I’ve heard, from many people the story improves with each book. So maybe. But I kind of need to take a break.