This book… God damn… Honestly, it is amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from start to finish. I became so invested in the characters and the world. Also I need more. This is the kind of book that leaves you wanting more, but in a good way. In a way where I need the second book now, like straight away.
For those of you that don’t know State of Sorrow is about a young girl who’s brother is lost to the river, her mother has died and her father is mourning and has become an addict. On top of all of this she must help to govern since her father is incapable. The land she has to govern however is in a state of perpetual mourning over the loss of her brother. There is no art or love or joy. That is until a certain somebody decides to walk back into her life and think he can just take charge.
Firstly, I loved Sorrow as a character, she is so strong and brave. I found her to be very relatable as a character, not that our family lives are in anyway the same, but the way she deals with her emotions is similar to how I see myself. I think it is important in YA for young girls to be able to see themselves in characters, especially characters that are strong but show weakness sometimes. Throughout the book Sorrow has to cope with a lot, often a lot of people trying to tell her what to do and how she should be and push her directions she is unsure of. Sorrow then realises that she doesn’t really need to be told what to do she is capable of thinking for herself and that is when the real badassery comes out. She is so strong willed and witty and able to take charge and be a strong female character without a weapon insight! Amazing right? Who knew strong female characters didn’t have to be masculine?
If you have read my reviews before you will know that romance isn’t really my thing. However, when it comes to pretty boys with pointy ears, apparently it does become my thing… Rasmus became a my fave. Without spoiling anything I think he deserved better from Sorrow, but what is young adult romance without a little bit of drama? The romance really doesn’t play a massive part throughout the story, like it is there and it is important but it is not in your face. I particularly like this because romance isn’t my thing but also I love reading about young female characters where their entire lives revolve around 1 (or 2) boys who aren’t even all that. To me this relationship is possibly one of the more mature relationships I have read in YA and I loved it because it was so refreshing to read something that seemed real.
The story line was so good. There is literally never a dull moment. I cannot explain how many times I was going to put this book down to go to sleep or my break at work was over to then hit a plot twist. So much sleep was lost and so much of my work day was thinking about what was going to happened next. I mostly guessed wrong which is very unusual for me which was a nice change! This is also why I managed to read this so fast was because I had a need to know what happened next. The world building was something else. It is not often that I read books where I can picture them so vividly in my head, but this world was just beautiful.
As always, I do love a good villain. And does State of Sorrow have a fantastic villain or what?! Vespus is an amazing character. Throughout the whole book he is so devious and selfish and I am all for him. My little conservationist heart was very disappointed to find out that Vespus’ plan was not because he was a horticulturalist. Funny enough the villain of the story had a much more sinister plan than a bit of gardening. Also apparently if you love a good villain and love a good rolling of the sleeves then keep your eyes out for book 2!
Overall this literally had everything I wanted. Strong female character, pretty boy with pointy ears, vivid imagery of wonky bridges and a fantastic villain. What else does this story really need? Trick question, it needs the sequel, and it needs it now.
I actually had the pleasure of meeting Melinda Salisbury recently and she was very lovely and very funny and you should all read her books.