Series: Raybearer #1
Release Date: 18th August 2020
Source: Bought, Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?
Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?
Although it took me a while to read Raybearer, I had a lot of fun with this debut fantasy novel! I started out reading Raybearer as an audiobook (thank you, NetGalley) and I immediately fell in love with the narration. I think the narrator truly added to the experience of reading this book as she captured the protagonist’s voice perfectly.
I finished off Raybearer as a physical book, and I have to say I do think my reading experience was enhanced by listening to the audiobook first, because I kept hearing the narrator’s voice in my head!
Raybearer is a fast paced fantasy novel, and while it is a bit longer than your average YA book, I found that the time flew by and I enjoyed every second of the book.
The main point I want to press that truly makes this book stand out from the rest is the relationships between the characters. As I grow older, I find myself more and more drawn to books with solid relationships between friends and partners. Raybear was more than solid, with excellent platonic friendships between people who truly cared about each other, and a romance that wasn’t exactly what was expected.
I’d highly recommend picking up this unique fantasy debut that explores friendship in such a complex and fantastical way. I’m very much looking forward to reading the sequel, although I’m definitely going to have to recap this one first!