I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron
Series: The Ryogan Chronicles #1
Published by Entangled: Teen on 2017-02-14
Length: 400 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
In this diverse, gritty survival fantasy, a girl warrior turns against her island clan to find the brother they claim died, uncovering secrets. Perfect for fans of Graceling and Snow Like Ashes.
In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle.
On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.
But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya's home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she's never seen.
To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run—a betrayal and a death sentence.
Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron is an addictive, high-stakes read. I found myself engrossed from page one. What makes it so addictive was the unique world-building and setting Cameron developed through the eyes of her main character Khya. It is unlike anything I’ve ever read!
Khya is a warrior, put simply. She, like everyone else, puts Shiara, her home and people, above everything else. Basically the way the society works is like an “all for one and one for all” mentality. It is the only way they could survive this harsh world. But back to Khya. She has bought into this idea wholeheartedly. She will give her life for Shiara, and do whatever is asked of her. That is until her brother is killed.
Yorri is the catalyst of this story. We see a very small glimpse of him through Khya’s eyes before he dies, then we see him in another light. Khya would do anything for him, and it takes her from a character that is hardened and disliked to one you love and root for.
The plot of the book is that the elders of Shiara are hiding something and killing people to do so. It’s devastating for someone like Khya who has devoted her life to doing what the elders wish. I couldn’t sit the book down at this point. I was so engrossed in the mystery and deception Khya uncovers. Not to mention the romance 😉 My favorite person in the book is Terren and he is Khya’s least favorite person. It’s obvious to everyone but Khya Terren’s intentions. I found myself swooning over him and his unintentional sweet acts over and over. So much swooning!!
Overall, I really enjoyed Island of Exiles. I’ll admit that even though I couldn’t sit the book down, it did take me longer to read than usual. I think that is do to the world-building at the beginning of the book. It is all told through the character’s perspective and the author avoids big info-dumps. As a result, it took a little while for me to catch on to the terminology and setting than it usually would. That’s a positive though because it is unlike anything I’ve ever read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a dystopian fantasy.