Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

A magical mountaineering tale

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This was my first read for the Autumn season and it did not disappoint. Autumn is my favourite time of the year and I love nothing more than snuggling up after work with a pumpkin candle, a hot chocolate and a good book.

Even the Darkest Stars was the September book for the monthly book subscription box I get called Fairy Loot, which I highly recommend if you are in to fantasy books and get excited about new releases. I think this book was delivered one week before the UK release date (that’s exciting if you are obsessed with books like me!).

The story follows aspiring explorer mountaineer, 17 year old Kamzin, who lives in a village deep within the mountains of Azmiri. She is the daughter of the Village Elder and has one older sister called Lusha.

When the Emperor’s greatest explorer turns up to her village before taking a trek to Raksha, the tallest and most intimidating mountain in the realm, Kamzin instantly wants to prove herself to have a chance at being an explorer.

The Great Explorer is River Shara, an eccentric 19 year old, who is rumoured to be harsh and mistreat his team whilst on exhibitions if they betray him. River ends up choosing Kamzin to be his guide on the historic trek to Mount Rashka to retrieve a powerful Talisman that the Emperor desires to stop the witches from regaining power and destroying villages. Kamzin quickly learns that River has a quieter personality than the many rumours about him and she quickly befriends River.

Throughout this book I laughed and I cried. I loved the small but precious details about the animal characters, such as the mini glowing dragons and of course, Ragtooth the Fox, Kamzin’s familiar. The author Heather, is clearly an animal lover and has picked up their small traits of personalities beautifully, giving them as much character as the humans.

I loved Kamzin’s complicated relationship with her best friend, Kem, and I really wanted them to end up together. I wasn’t very keen on Kamzin’s growing relationship with River Shara. I knew something was ‘off’ with him and this was confirmed at the end of the book!

The world building and landscape descriptions in this book were fantastic and I really felt as though I was sitting reading this book in the mountains at many points and not in a noisy coffee shop.

I don’t want to give much away about this wonderful book. It’s better to go into it not knowing much as there are many surprises along the way.

Make this book a must on your Autumn TBR list. I can’t wait for the sequel!

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