The Unwilling by Kelly Braffet
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This one was …. long!
The Unwilling is a complex and epic adventure which follows Judah; a foundling who shares a very small bond with Gavin, the heir to a vast empire. This bonds rules their lives as it’s the key to Judah’s survival. However, danger is around every corner as it seems that everyone in Highfall wants to use Judah, their bond, or both.
THE UNWILLING – MY THOUGHTS
Usually I love a good fantasy novel but on this occasion The Unwilling was just too long a drawn out for me. The pace was slow which I don’t usually mind as long as it builds to something, but in this instance I just found it a little underwhelming and anticlimactic. The ending felt rushed and was disappointing after investing so much time to finally get there. There wasn’t really a glimmer of hope left for any character which to be honest just felt depressing. There wasn’t really any kind of pay off for the level of suffering and the amount of triggers this book contains. I don’t shy away from torture in literature if it adds value, but this just seemed like cruelty and dispair at every turn..
I can see big fantasy fans enjoying this as there is a lot of good things in there. Complex characters that are beautifully woven into the story, a depth to the story which is rich in history and an interesting magical ‘Work’ threaded throughout. Braffet has a real skill in building a world which is three dimensional with characters you will both love and hate. For me though, The Unwilling just couldn’t make up for the pace which promised so much but sadly fell a little short alongside so much darkness with little or no light to be rewarded with.
I have to mention that cover art though. It looks simply stunning. For me it’s so enticing and just draws me in! The Unwilling will be released on 11 February and is available for pre-order now.
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DISCLOSURE: this is an eARC which has be provided via NetGalley in exchange for feedback.