*I received this book as an eARC from Month9Books in exchange for an honest review*
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Title: The Emissary
Author: Kristal Shaff
Publication Date: September 23, 2014
Synopsis: For hundreds of years, dark clouds covered the skies of Adamah, and an ageless king ruled. Those who emerged with one of six extraordinary Shay powers were forced into the king's army, an unmatched force with inhuman Strength, Speed, Accuracy, Perception, Empathy, and Healing. With the army at his side, the king—a man who wields all six abilities—was invincible and unquestioned in his rule. To most, serving the king was an honor. And for some, it was a fate worse than death.
When seventeen-year-old Nolan Trividar witnesses the transformation of his brother from kind to cruel after entering the king’s army, he vows never to follow the same path. So when his own power—the Shay of Accuracy—comes upon him at the Tournament of Awakening, Nolan conceals his emergence instead of joining the king’s ranks. For years, he traitorously hides his power, pretending to be a gifted scribe. But when Nolan comes face-to-face with a deserter, the man discovers his secret. To evade detection and a death sentence, Nolan escapes with the deserter and flees into a night filled with dark creatures who steal both powers and souls.
Nolan joins a resistance, a village hidden deep in the forest, filled with others who secretly wield a Shay. But his peace is short lived when they discover that the dark clouds, the undead creatures, their own decreasing powers, and even the king, are all connected
Why?: An ageless king, magical powers, a fantasy world full of terrifying creatures and dark, mysterious clouds? Yes, please! This sounds like it has all the makings of a fantastic book, and I'm excited to dive right in and learn more about Adamah, Shay, Noan, and the resistance.
Expectations: I'm a little concerned that the synopsis is so long because it makes me think that that's basically the entire book and I hate when the description spoils the book. I do expect this to be pretty high fantasy though, with a lot of magic and adventure! Also quite a bit of world-building and political intrigue. My expectations are relatively high since I've seen pretty high ratings for The Emissary!
Judging a book by its cover: I really like the colors of this cover, but I think the cover looks very young. Almost like it should be a middle-grade title instead of YA. I would expect to see this on a shelf in a book fair, not necessarily with other YA Fantasy titles out there like The Girl of Fire and Thorns or Shadow and Bone. I would probably pick it up off a shelf if I saw it somewhere, but I'm not entirely convinced that I would.