Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Review: Sunrise Meets the Star

Title: Sunrise Meets the Star
Author: Victoria Bastedo
Page Count:
My Rating:
*This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review

Verone’s life as a peasant was a lonely one until the strangers showed up at his door. They demanded he must come with them, to unravel a tangled Will and Testament that inexplicably bound him to the side of the stubborn, dark-headed young man, Antaries. 
Submitting to their demands gave him a quest, although he wasn’t certain what the end result would be. As well as Antaries, the two hired guards, and the lawyer sent to oversee the complicated Will and Testament, he had to travel with another man that despised all peasants and was ready to sneer at him at every turn. 
On the road they were threatened by thieves, attacked and arrested, struck by poisoners and a pretty young pickpocket. 
But inside Verone was changing, for with the surprises of travel his heart contracted with an emotion he hadn’t allowed himself to feel for a long time. Hope. Was he destined to be a lonely peasant with nothing to look forward to but scraping his next meal into his stomach with calloused hands? Or would Antaries prove to be the friend he never expected to come his way? Would he even extend himself to save Verone’s life?

Sunrise Meets the Star is an adventurous coming-of-age story. Verone is whisked away from his small remote village to help a group of strangers complete a mysterious quest.  On the road he goes from boy to man and discovers things about himself he never imagined possible.

I really enjoyed seeing Verone’s character development. Starting as an educated but very poor young man, but treated as a lord as soon as he joins his travelling companions, it was very interesting to see how he dealt with his sudden change of circumstance. He grapples with how to adjust while staying the man he was before and this definitely added a depth to his character. I also thought how the culmination of the quest panned out was very clever. (I know I’m being vague, but I’d hate to spoil anything.)

One thing that was a bit tricky for me starting the book is there was not quite enough world-building. I knew that Verone started out living in a farming village in a fantasy world, but I was not sure whether to picture something like the English countryside with rolling hills or farmland near a forest or someplace more arid. The world building definitely developed more as the story went on, but at the beginning it was a bit hard for me to orient myself. Another thing that kept me from fully enjoying the story was one of the characters, Berlin. For over half of the book Berlin keeps insulting Verone, calling him peasant and saying things like Verone doesn’t deserve the nice clothes Anteries, the leader of the group, bought him. He continues to do this despite the fact that everyone repeatedly tells him to stop and at one point they even threaten to send him home. It really grated on my nerves, and even though Berlin does change, the change is so gradual that it comes down to him being a whiny brat most of the time.

I would recommend this book to fans of quest books. It follows the Heroic Journey to a T, making it full of gripping trials and an intense culmination. Although the characters are all adults, I’d say this book would be appropriate for the older end of Middle Grade and up.

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.

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