Steampunk isn't one of my favorite genres, but it might just become one if all books are just like this one. I've heard a lot of great things about Kova's books, and I've decided to give this one a try.
There's something incredibly magical about this book, and it's truly amazing to experience. First of all, the world of Loom is really interesting, with steampunk themes blending perfectly with fantasy, in a way I hadn't quite imagined. There's magic, dragons, and technology that, strangely, work just fine together. The world itself is really complex, with a lot of stuff to understand, and a lot of stuff that I didn't quite understood at first. I kind of felt a lot like Cvareh, being thrown into an unknown world and trying to understand it. At times that proved a bit difficult, especially since there's a lot of stuff that we don't know about what happened in the bast, way before the events in the book started.
I also liked having the book told from different POVs. It helped show a bigger picture than what one side would have shown, and I loved that we got even the villain's side of things.
Ari was a really interesting heroine. She is definitely not an easy person to understand, or even like. She has a lot of secrets, and the more I read about her, the more intrigued I became. I wonder if in the future we'll get to fully know who Ari is, what her motives for hating the dragons are, and if she'll get some kind of closure. But I did respect her, to be really honest, because as cold as she wanted others to see her as, she was truly loyal to her friend, even though that put her in a lot of danger.
Florence was one character that I loved from the very start. She was witty, funny, and kind of impossible to resist. I can understand why Ari wanted to protect her at all costs and why she rescued her when she did. I also liked that even though Florence had a pureness and tenderness that made her seem soft and breakable, she found it in herself to make the hard decisions, even though she was truly scared of the outcome.
Cvareh was the character that, much like Ari, was interesting, but it took me a while to understand. I still feel like there's a lot about him that we don't know, that he's keeping a lot of things about himself hidden, and I'm curious how that will work out in the next book. But as I said, having different POVs in this book made it difficult to decide which side of the war to sympathize with, because contrary to what Ari believes, Cvareh didn't seem so bad.
The more I read, the more I understood why I had so many people urging me to read Kova's works, mainly because she managed to get me to like a story in a genre that I don't normally connect with. The only thing I would have wanted was to have more background information, to maybe understand how to navigate the world of Loom better, but all in all this book was a great series-started, and I'll definitely read the next book in the series.