“Everless” by Sara Holland
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.
No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.
But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
I won’t lie. The story started off slow and a bit boring. A motherless young woman is poor. She and her father are in danger of losing everything if they can’t pay. She does something drastic in order to get the money to pay the debts. I read lots of YA fantasy so this basic premise is something I’ve read a hundred different times. Thankfully Holland is able to change those boring, old tropes into a fascinating story.
The world building of this world is endless fascinating. Time is currency. Time is blood. The logistics are a bit rough and I’m not totally clear on how everything works. The idea of it was pretty awesome and a new idea for me. .
Once Holland sets the scene and gets the story rolling, it’s easy to get caught up in. Like I’ve said, I’ve read many, many YA fantasy books in my time but I was endlessly surprised with this story. I never knew what was coming. Everything was a very pleasant surprise for me since it wasn’t predictable.
Buy the book for the cover, read it for the story. Thumbs up.