In this imaginative escape into enthralling new lands, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's first bestselling young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.
Jessamy's life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family she can be whoever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom's best contenders. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between two Fives competitors--one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy--causes heads to turn. When Kal's powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes's family apart, she'll have to test her new friend's loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.
Launching a YA trilogy, adult author Elliott (the Spiritwalker series) takes readers on an imaginative journey into Efea, a socially divided world of "Commoners" and "Patrons." Jessamy, the daughter of a high-ranking Patron army captain and a Commoner mother, wants to compete in the Fives a challenging, obstacle-like game requiring cunning and athleticism but her father forbids it. When the lord sponsoring Jessamy's father dies unexpectedly, tearing apart her family, she gains the opportunity to train at one of the most prestigious arenas in the kingdom, alongside a lord whose sudden attention sets her heart racing. Elliot creates an intricate and intriguing story, conjuring a world of mysticism and centuries-old customs. Jessamy's boldness and impulsiveness make her a striking heroine in a male-dominated land. While Efea's complicated backstory can occasionally bog down the narrative, Jessamy's daring escapades, her budding romance with Lord Kalliarkos, and the descriptions of her Fives trials keep things exciting. Jessamy's challenges are only just beginning, and readers will be eager to know how she fares in future books. Ages 12 up.
one of my favorite books of 2016. it’s beautifully written, i would recommend it to any teenager out there.