This is definitely a book to be experienced!
This review MAY contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.
I really don't know how to put my thoughts into words right now. This book was amazing! I'd be lying if I said that I didn't have high expectations going into this one, what with all the hype surrounding this series. There is such high praise for it, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I think that the hype, in the end, kind of tainted my expectations a bit. Don't get me wrong because I loved this book. But I feel that without all the heightened expectations I may have enjoyed this book more.
Expectations aside, this is one fantasy world that you won't want to miss out on experiencing, that's for sure. The world building in this is phenomenal! It was so atmospheric and complex. The magic system in this book is very distinct and alive and interesting. I am still in awe of Schwab's flawless, imaginative world. I very much loved the way that fantasy was woven into history to create this unbelievable world.
I think that the area where I had the only disconnect was with the characters. Which is odd for me to say because I loved the characters. I loved them, yet I felt very detached from them at the same time. I don't even know how that is possible, but that is how I felt while reading this. I think that the characters were very real. They had flaws, problems of their own, and they could stand on their own in terms of the story. I think that what made them feel so isolated from me was the way they interact. I think that if there were more emotion between the characters then I would have felt more invested in them. The relationship between the two main characters just felt underdeveloped. Though, the author must have done something right because they are also extremely likable.
The plot was convincing enough as a whole. There were many moments that I felt compelled to know what happened next, but there were also moments that I wasn't. The story didn't exactly stand still though. It kept moving and the pace was adequate. There were definitely plot twists that I didn't expect, so things stayed interesting. I felt that the ending could have used more fire behind it. It felt like it just stopped at the end without any reason to go on to the next book.
Overall, this is definitely a book to be experienced! Despite my personal disconnect with the characters, I highly recommend this read. Even with that disconnect, I absolutely loved this book! Schwab is a remarkable storyteller and a skillful weaver of worlds. I am excited to continue this series and experience more worlds by this author!