I received this book from Goodreads First Reads. I was excited to have won and was thrilled to begin this book, which I started immediately upon getting it in the mail. I wanted to like it; I really did.
The story is about Livios, a poor farmer's son who accidentally winds up as a recruit in the brutal Black Legion after committing a terrible crime. It goes on to tell of his elevation in the ranks and his constant battle with what's right and wrong.
It promised qualities I look for in books--tragedy, brutality, the questioning of morality. Things which can stir the heart and get one thinking. In reality, it offered none of these things. For starters, it was poorly written. I noticed it immediately when every sentence started off with "He did that..." or "He was this..." It read like a list and described things in a way that was dumbing it down for the reader. The dialogue as well was off-putting.
I told myself I could ignore those issues as long as it offered a good story with captivating characters. It didn't. Things happen so fast with little to no emotion it feels fake. Despite there being multiple viewpoints, none of these characters feel like characters, as if they weren't given the same attention to their person as Livios. Livios himself made a lot of questionable and outright dumb decisions, yet was hailed as a god by his fellow comrades with no actual reason. When the love interest was introduced it all went downhill.
The story itself could have been a great one, but the execution, all of it, was poorly done.