State of Sorrow
By: Melinda Salisbury
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Synopsis: Sorrow – for that is all she brings us.
A people laid low by grief and darkness.
A cut-throat race for power and victory.
A girl with everything and nothing to lose…
By day, Sorrow governs the Court of Tears, covering for her grief-maddened father, who has turned their once celebrated land into a living monument for the brother who died before she was born.
By night, she seeks solace in the arms of the boy she’s loved since childhood. But one ghost won’t stop haunting her, and when enemies old and new close ranks against her, Sorrow must decide how far she’s willing to go to win…
Be swept away by the dark and dangerous new world from Melinda Salisbury, bestselling author of The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy
The first section of this review will be spoiler free.
Hey booklovers, it’s almost May can you believe it? I finally finished State of Sorrow, which I received in my March Fairyloot box. I had no expectation going into this book, I hadn’t heard of it before and it is the first of Melinda Salisbury’s books I have read. Though it started off a bit slow, as the world building and character set up took place, after the halfway point the story really picked up and I found myself sucked in. Because of the slow beginning I kept putting the book down and so it took me a while to finish. Sorrow was an interesting character but I did feel she lacked a certain depth. I felt for her situation and her struggles throughout the story were definitely engaging, but there really wasn’t much more to her. I actually found the side characters like Luvian (her advisor) and Irris (her best friend) way more intriguing, and often found myself wishing I could read from their perspective as well. I also wish that the magical elements in the universe had been explored in a bit more depth, though I recognize that this is just the first book in a series and so things will probably get more involved as the books evolve.
Overall the book had a great mystery and political intrigue to it which was what ended up sucking me in. If Sorrow had been a bit more multilayered as a character this book would have gotten 4 stars from me for sure! If you want to try out high fantasy but aren’t sure if you are ready for overly complex worlds and a thousand new names to remember, this is a good book to get you started. The focus of the story is on the politics and the character relationships, rather than on the world itself. I will definitely pick up the sequel when it comes out, and hopefully it improves on the first one and rounds out the story a bit more.
As she lay there, the stink of death n the air, the Dowager First Lady asked her what she would name the baby.
“Sorrow,” she said. “For that is all she brings us.”
“I’ve been locked up in this…this dungeon of a palace my whole life. As of tomorrow, that’s all I’ll ever have. This palace. This life. At Seventeen, that’s it. My future is decided.”
So the major spoiler which happens pretty early on in the book is that Mael, Sorrows brother who was believed to have died before her birth in a tragic accident that sent her father into a tailspin, is actually still alive. Now a big theme in the story is whether or not this strange young man really is the long lost Mael. Personally, I hope it really is him because as a character he seems like a genuinely nice person who just wants to be loved and accepted by his family. I did understand that after the way she was treated by her father growing up, Sorrow wasn’t exactly happy to see her long long brother. I was a little frustrated with her complete lack of interest in getting to know him, until the end of the book when she finally showed some semblance of compassion. Another spoiler is of course that Harun (Sorrow’s dad) dies shortly after Mael returns, was it murder? was it his addiction finally coming to an end? I guess I will have to wait until the second book to finally find out! I wasn’t a fan of the Sorrow-Rasmus romance and was very glad when it ended. I am however really rooting for Luvian and Sorrow to get together so fingers crossed for book 2.
Have you read State of Sorrow? or any of Melinda Salisbury’s books? what are your thoughts?