High above the sea, floats the pristine city of the Heliana. Home to winged-lion shapeshifters–the Leonodai–and protected from the world of humans by an elite group of warriors, the Heliana has only known peace. After years of brutal training, seventeen-year-old Rowan is ready to prove her loyalty to the city and her people to become one of the Leonodai warriors. But before Rowan can take the oath, a deadly disease strikes the city’s children. Soon the warriors–including two of Rowan’s closest friends–are sent on a dangerous mission to find a fabled panacea deep within enemy lands. Left behind, Rowan learns a devastating truth that could compromise the mission and the fate of the Heliana itself. She must make a decision: stay with the city and become a warrior like she always dreamed, or risk her future in an attempt to save everyone she loves. Whatever Rowan decides, she has to do it fast, because time is running out, and peace can only last so long.
The Endless Skies is an enjoyable and entertaining standalone YA fantasy. Heliana is home to a race of magical shape-shifting winged lions called Leonodai. A deadly illness is spreading among the children of Heliana, death is occurring within ten days from the first sign of the disease and all remedies are proving ineffectual. A team of Leonodai warriors travel into enemy territory, the human world, to try to obtain the magical wild plant which will cure the illness.
The story is narrated from the multiple points of view of Rowan, Shirene and Callen, although Rowan stands out as the main character. The world is intriguing and interesting and I liked the idea of an island floating above the sea. There are some lovely descriptions of the island and scenery, but I was craving more detailed descriptions and I wanted to know much more about the world, its people and history.
The action scenes are great and injected a bit of excitement and drama into the storyline and I particularly enjoyed Rowan’s action scenes in the human world. On the whole the story moves at a fast pace and the writing style is easy to follow. The characters are likeable but I didn’t particularly connect with any of them, although I did admire Rowan for her determination and bravery. The basis was there for some excellent characterisation, however they came across as a little one-dimensional. The romance is a little underwhelming and lack lustre, it’s a bit too sweet and lacks energy and passion. Love triangles have the potential to be quite explosive but this one resolved itself a little too conveniently and politely.
The novel lacked depth and complexity and at only 294 pages much more could have been packed between the pages. However, that aside this is an enjoyable and fun adventure story with a sprinkling of romance and is the perfect easy read for YA fantasy readers requiring a quick fix.
Publisher: Torr Teen
Publication Date (UK):
17 August 2021 (eARC)
21 September 2021 (Hardback)
Page Count: 294
Genre: YA Fantasy
Thank you to the publisher for the gifted advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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