*This review is based on an advanced reading copy. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a chance to read the book in exchange for an honest review*
This is a brand new world in fantasy that was very elaborate and worth reading for the imagery alone.
The world is based on two types of people: those with skill and those without. People with skill, or 'Equals' rule, while those without are forced into slavery for 10 years of their lives (at any time they choose). The most powerful Equal family, the Jardines, consists of Gavar (eldest and heir with a temper), Jenner (no skill and kind), and Silyen (most powerful and seemingly evil). Our main characters, Luke and Abi, are starting their slave days with their family. Their parents, Abi, and their younger sister Daisy are assigned to serve the Jardines while Luke gets stuck in one of the worst slave towns, Millmoor.
The suspense was not lacking in this one. I felt like at times there wasn't much action but I still wanted to keep going to see what happened to this family. I liked the characterization and the fantasy world. Overall, I felt that the book was very politically involved as well, and forced you to think about humanity and what it means to be a person.
I also loved the reveal of two secret identities towards the end, I definitely didn't see that coming and was a surprisingly good twist. The book leaves off at a perfect point for a sequel, and I can't wait to read more of this story!