I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I liked this story quite a bit. The characters were well developed, and interesting. I liked that people, for the most part, weren't simply black and white in their morality. I think the relationship between Shan and his brother was a highlight for me. Their relationship is strained, and complicated, but for very honest and very real reasons. I liked Temar, and his struggles. I appreciated that he was deeply hurt, but he never came off as weak or helpless. I think that I need a bit more to believe in their bond though. It seemed a bit quick, and some of Shan's feelings, especially in the beginning, felt a bit more like obsession than love to me. I did appreciate that Temar was able to advocate for his needs, and he never let Shan take control or do things "for his own good."
The plot was well developed, and, while it was a bit slow in the beginning, once events started unfolding things moved at a good pace. I liked the way slavery worked in this society, and I can see for people living so close to the edge, where it would seem like a better option than attempting to incinerate people, or leaving them with debts that they will never be able to pay. I'm not saying their right just that it's a complicated situation, and the author did a good job articulating that.
The ending was well done, and it fit the feeling of the story. I think the villain of the story was well done, and I liked that they had motivation beyond simply being evil. I can see where people could have been drawn into the plot, and the plans made sense in the context of the characters and the setting. A solid start to a new series, and I'm looking forward to reading more.
art credit: a cave on a desert planet by hoevelkamp