A Light in the Sky by Shina Reynolds

A high-flying adventure A Light in the Sky is a fight for freedom, a tale of betrayal and a story of hope.

Aluma is the daughter of a retired Empyrean Rider and she wants nothing more than to follow in her Father’s footsteps and protect her kingdom from the sky atop a winged horse. Denied the chance to compete to become a Rider, Aluma feels crushed by the laws of her Kingdom, confused by her brother’s fawning affection for the selfish King, and curiously suspicious of the strange behaviour of her father and his friends.

When betrayal leaves Aluma’s father near death, he urges Aluma to take the the reins and become a Rider – to be the light. Suddenly, Aluma’s entire world is changing and nothing is quite as it seemed.

What I liked: The world building was thorough but comprehensive. While it could be a little confusing following the names of the Kingdoms and cities at first, it starts to come together and form a history.

The story is well paced – the focus is on the action, but Reynolds makes it clear that time is passing and the tension starts to build. By the time we’re in the belly of the whale, figuratively, relationships have developed between our main characters and it is easy to understand where (and why) their loyalties lie.

The flying horses. They are some beautiful, magical flying horses. At times, the book really paints a picture of what it is like to ride a flying horse.

‘His long, feathered wings branch out stiffly on either side as we coast, allowing us to surf the air like invisible waves in the sky.’

What I didn’t like: I’m showing my age here a little, but these characters felt very hormonal. There is a lot of looking at firm abs, strong chests and chiselled jaws. Not to mention fuzzy tummies and blushing cheeks. It wasn’t bad but the typical YA love triangle feels cliched and unnecessary to the progression of the story.

While I enjoyed the book (enjoy to read it in an afternoon!), I do feel like the language could have been tighter. In trying to paint a detailed picture of the world, some passages get quite wordy:

The crowds have diminished as I rush down the main street through Cintrenia. I’m later than I thought – only a few people are still filtering in through the giant arena arches. I break into a run when I hear the inaugural opening trumpets sound from inside, a brazen reminder of my constant tardiness.

A Light in the Sky, Chapter 7
  • The crowds have diminished – only a few people.
  • I’m later than I thought – my constant tardiness.
  • Inaugural – opening.

While the paragraph paints a picture of the streets and Aluma, it also felt very repetitive and took me out of the moment.

Conclusion: A fun read, a daring adventure and the perfect introduction to the Clashing Skies series.

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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