Amber & Dusk will thrill you with Sylvie’s magical creations and the last third of the book will convince you that you need more.
Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But Sylvie knows it gives her a place in Coeur d’Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her highborn legacies.
So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers.
But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of intrigue in order to claim her spot.
Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it appears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer her questions. As Mirage strives to assume what should be her rightful place, she’ll have to consider whether it is worth the price she must pay.
I was entranced by Sylvie. She is a magical orphan who travels to the city to try to find her legacy, to be among people who understand her – who don’t lock her in the darkness – and to find the answers to all her unanswered questions. But what Sylvie doesn’t know, is that she is just one small piece in a much larger story, in a court full of thinly veiled punishments, and in a world of unrest. Sylvie is thrown headfirst into the action, into her quest to prove herself, and take control of the destiny she always believed she deserved.
Growing up in a world where her magic was a source of guilt, of shame, and mistrust, Sylvie longs to run away and embrace her legacy. To claim the magic in her veins and find a place in the Amber City – despite the warnings of those traveling with her. Amber & Dusk immediately had my attention as Sylvie struggles with the choice between ambition and security.
Characters – Sylvie
Sylvie has to make the conscious decision to chase her own destiny, to grasp her birthright, against all odds at every step of the way. She could leave, walk away from it, and take the easier path. Because the one she is on is littered with thorns, pain, and sacrifice. While this is initially what drew me to her, something I had trouble accepting in Sylvie’s character is her steadfast almost arrogant belief that she deserves a spot in court.
One of her mentors keeps asking her why she believes she deserves a place, why it should just come to her easily. Maybe I only have trouble coming to terms with that is because I’ve never felt like I fit that way. I never was so assured of my belonging anywhere. So the idea that you believe your birthright or talents mean you belong somewhere – and believing you deserve it – was just a foreign concept to me.
In all the other ways, I understood Sylvie’s masking, the need to retaliate against those who hurt her. To need the last word. Her inability to let a slight go without saying something. Talk about one of my biggest flaws?
But this book needs a sequel, because in this book, we get some fabulous world building of political unrest, of whispers of rebellion, and rumblings of the future. But this book revolves around Sylvie’s self-discovery. Her realizations about her power. And her place in the world.