Night Spinner by Addie Thorley
Released: February 11, 2020
I absolutely loved this book! It drew me in from the first page, and had me until the very end. Needless to say, I'm happy it has a little one next to the title because I need more!
But first, a synopsis of the book.
Enebish was once a great warrior, known throughout the land as Enebish the Warrior. But, all of that changed with one night, one blackout from her power and she's known as Enebish the Destroyer and banished to live the rest of her broken life repenting for her sins to the empire. Grateful to be alive and promising to never touch her powers again, Enebish is trying to be content with her new life as the King's eagle trainer at the monastery. But, when her adoptive sister offers her a chance at redemption, and a chance at reinstatement to the army she misses more than anything, she takes it. Her job is simple: find the leader of the rebel group undermining the king, infiltrate their ranks, and give their location over. But, Enebish's time at the monastery has kept her from a vastly different world than she remembers. With the warfront worse than ever and most of the people homeless and starving, Enebish begins to wonder if maybe this rebel group isn't as horrible as her sister made them out to be. She must decide if family is more important to her than what her conscious deems right. With magic and betrayal weaved into this Hunchback of Notre Dame-esque tale, Thorley creates a story you won't be able to put down easily. First, I want to say that Thorley is such a great writer. Her prose are lyrical and beautiful; she sets the scene and brings it to life before your eyes. The characters she created are full of life, with emotions and drives that build a solid foundation for a story. I have never read The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but I have seen the Disney movie. Even with that knowledge, I believe Thorley does a great job of weaving the old with the new and creating a story that stands apart from any kind of source material.
Enebish is a strong character that readers instantly feel a kinship towards. Even though she did such a terrible thing, we feel for her. I especially like that a character who was so dependent on her strength in life--both physical and magical--had it taken from her. It was a great representation of not letting a disability hinder you. Her relationship with Serik, her best friend who is obviously in love with her, is great and I really enjoyed reading them throughout the story. And I like how different it was in compared to her relationship with Temujin. Both can see her worth, but in two completely different ways and two completely different worths. It's a great juxtaposition and I loved comparing them as their relationships grew and changed. Enebish's character growth is one of the best I've read, and I look forward to reading more about her in what comes next!
Goa is another character that I found interesting. Obviously meant to represent that old guy who takes in Quasimodo, Goa comes across as a caring and devoted sister to Enebish at the beginning of the story. Although we can easily see that there was more to her under the surface, we aren't exactly sure what it is and how much there is. I like that we see more and more of her throughout the story, and her unraveling is such a great way to show her character development.
I was also a big fan of the magic system, and I really wish there would have been more on it throughout the story. We know Enebish is a very rare Night Spinner--someone who control the literal night and stars around them, using it in a multitude of ways. Goa can wield the ice and cold. There are Sun Stokers, those who can heat things up. I wanted more on the different abilities and the differences between them and the powers their enemies have. There were enough twists and turns to keep me on my feet, and just a touch of romance to sate my need for love. I felt connected to the characters and found myself rooting for them until I hated them. I really liked that my inklings weren't all founded while some of them were, and I enjoyed the reveals as they came. Overall, this was such a great read and I can't wait for more Enebish!