Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

Title: Even the Darkest Stars

Author: Heather Fawcett

Publisher:  Harper Collins/ Balzer & Bray

Format: eBook

Publication Date: September 5, 2017 

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

Source:  Edelweiss

Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means climbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer who is determined to best River, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.

The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and even worse at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth of their mission and of her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.

This book was absolutely amazing. I know there were alot of people who felt like it was slow, and I guess it was, but I really really enjoyed it. Kamzin is an incredible badass. She is an elite climber, who can never show it because her family wishes for her to have a safe and normal life. Kamzin’s mother was an elite mountain climber, and was constantly taking risks. Kamzin’s father and sister want nothing more than to see her be safe and not to take the risks that her mother did. But ulitmately it ends up happening, as it should.

This story was beautiful in a way that I’m having a hard time describing. It’s set in a Nepalese type area, and Raksha is clearly a stand in for Everest. But the way the story is built is beautiful. There is wonderful imagery and backstory that is fed to the reader in little snippets. I admit that this could be frustrated but I wsa so caught up in the journey that Kamzin is on that while I wanted to know, I appreciated the ‘now’ of the story.

The tension between River and Kamzin was off the charts, and I appreciated the slow burn. I felt like I followed Kamzin’s denial in what River is hiding because I wanted him so badly to be the good person that kept peeking through. I really really enjoyed this book, and while I’m left wanting because it’s clearly part of a series, the ending wasn’t such a cliffhanger that I was upset or angry. I just really want the next book now. 5 out of 5 stars.

5/5 – MUST READ, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**

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Your soul is rich like honeycomb. Like strawberries.
― Heather FawcettEven the Darkest Stars