State of Sorrow Review

Monday, 9 April 2018

Rating: 5/5
Source: Waterstones

Sorrow - for that is all she brings us.

A people laid low by grief and darkness.
A cut-throat race for power and victory.
A girl with everything and nothing to lose…

By day, Sorrow governs the Court of Tears, covering for her grief-maddened father, who has turned their once celebrated land into a living monument for the brother who died before she was born.

By night, she seeks solace in the arms of the boy she's loved since childhood. But one ghost won't stop haunting her, and when enemies old and new close ranks against her, Sorrow must decide how far she's willing to go to win...

This was my first book by Melinda Salisbury, but I'll definitely be going back for more after reading State of Sorrow because it was SO GOOD. 

The plot, the characters, the world building, it was all a contributing factor to my five star review. As usual, I didn't like the main character as much as I liked the supporting cast. Don't get me wrong, Sorrow is great. She's a very strong young woman who has just had an awful time growing up and if it wasn't for her grandmother raising her, she would have a very different story to tell. I think when I'm reading a book, quite often I put myself in the place of the main character, I don't like myself much either, so I judge the other characters based on who I would want around me. Irris and Luvian can stay, I didn't personally rate Rasmus by the end, and Vespus can BACK OFF. 

My favourite character above all others was Luvian Fen. He is Sorrow's political advisor throughout her campaign for chancellor, so he and Sorrow grow close and have this incredible chemistry. He's very arrogant but also very sincere and when he tells Sorrow she can do something, he means it and her isn't just pandering. Luvian is the sort of character that anyone who ever doubts themselves, needs on their team (basically can I have one please?). I could talk about Luvian all day so I will have to move on swiftly or I'll get stuck here. 

I've read a lot of reviews about confusing world building and character names, I didn't get that at all. In fact, as far as fantasy goes I found the history and roles involved in this story quite straight forward. There's always the few chapters where you get a lot of names thrown at you, but as the story goes on the names reappear and you begin to slot everyone into your memory. Or you can flip to the back of the book where Mel has written it all down for you, I always love a family tree/list of nationalities. 

I only put this book down when there was something I HAD to do, like go to work -ugh, otherwise I think I would have devoured this in one sitting. Every other chapter or so ended with some kind of twist, making it almost painful to put the book down. I was lucky that I stopped on the penultimate chapter of part two, if I had read the chapter called 'The Tower' before my shift, I would have had to call in sick last minute. 

The ending. I don't know how I'm going to wait for book two. The run up to the ending was just so dramatic that I don't really know what to do with myself now. Sorrow has a lot more stuff to deal with even after everything she's just been through. Vespus needs to exit stage left so we can get on with other things and I'm so ready for more of Luvian coaching Sorrow through her next challenges. 

I suppose the only negative was that there was some more predictable story progression and I feel like Sorrow wasn't listening when I was shouting the more obvious things at her (sarcasm, just in case you think I've lost the plot), but when you compare that to the amount of twists that I didn't guess or even come close to, then you aren't going to be disappointed. 

Fantasy fans, this is a book you want to pick up, I promise. I don't blame you if you want to wait until a time where book two is on the horizon, but I'm already planning a summer re-read because I like to torture myself with good books and cliff hangers. I'm now even more excited for Wednesday when I'll get to meet the wonderful Melinda Salisbury and tell her how amazing she is in person! 

Thanks for reading!

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