Friday, 29 December 2017



by Sara Holland

5 out of 5

In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself. 

Jules and her father are struggling to get by, living the simple life. When her father falls into debt, Jules decides the only option is to work for the upper class. Which is about to be the most important, and dangerous, decision of this life.

I received a free copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this book, it feels like something completely original and new, which is rare in YA Fantasy.
In the kingdom of Sempera, the poor sell their lifespan to feed their families. An hour, a day, a year, whatever is necessary. There is no other option.
As with all corrupt countries, this "wealth" travels in one direction. The upper-class Gerlings hoard the time garnered from the poor, so they can live in luxury for centuries...

Jules is aware of how vile the Gerlings can be - she grew up in their household, where her father worked as a blacksmith, until they exiled him. She knows how they can abuse their staff, and encourage the next generation to be worse than before.
When Jules goes back to work for the Gerlings, she isn't naive about what could happen. She just intends to keep her head down, and earn enough time to pay off her father's debts.

The world of the time-stealing Gerlings isn't romantised. It is often dark and brutal. I was hooked with the shifting loyalties, and the hints at a different truth...

I don't want to say anything else, because I don't want to spoil a thing.
I very much enjoyed this book, and I am looking forward to the sequel.


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