With this review I have reached something of a milestone as Everless by Sara Holland is my 100th book of the year! This is the first year I have reached triple figures in books read so I’m pretty happy with that! Everless was the book I received in the December box from Fairy Loot (you can see my unboxing here)
This book is due for publication in January so I was excited to receive a copy ahead of its official release – and the premise really interested me so I was keen to start it straight away. Taking place in the land of Sempera, it tells the story of a world in which the wealthy have control, and where blood is used as a currency. This was a concept I really liked, the idea that blood could be extracted for payment or punishment. As a result of this bloodletting the rich could live for centuries on the blood extracted from the poor. This is something we see through our protagonist, Jules Ember, whose father who is forced to give his blood to pay off the rent. But Jules has had enough of watching her father drain his life away to clear their debt, and so she puts herself forward for a job at Everless, a grand estate ran by the cruel Gerling family. She finds her place amongst the numerous staff serving the family, but she soon learns that there are more sinister goings on at Everless than she ever imagined…
This was a book that I got into really quickly and I found it difficult to put down. I really enjoy historical novels and stories which uncover secrets within families and their grand estates so the setting of Everless really appealed to me as well as the addition of alchemy, sorcery and blood. There was a sense of unease throughout as we follow Jules on her journey to find the truth, and to potentially change the future. There was plenty of danger along the way as she tries to gain favour with the royalty, to help her in her quest for the truth. But along the way there is the risk she may be found out, and the threat of punishment which could drain her life away in an instant. I enjoyed discovering the various characters of differing rank within the Everless estate, and the relationships the Jules builds with them. There is also an uncertainty over which of these characters can be trusted, which kept up my interest as I read on keen to find out who has something to hide. I also liked that there was a hint of a potential romance, but not so much that it dominated the plot, and it was also one that developed in a way I didn’t expect!
I really enjoyed Everless, and found it to be a gripping fantasy tale which introduced a concept I hadn’t come across before. Its conclusion sets it up nicely for the next book in the series, and I will definitely be picking the next book up to see where this series goes!