I read this book only because it cane in my Owlcrate box. Reading it made clear why a book subscription crate is so great for broadening my horizons. Sometimes it leads to unexpected delights such as this book. Sometimes there isn’t a magic piece at all that makes the right book become appealing. I didn’t find the summary of this book terribly interesting, but it was a light, unique, fascinating read.
After years of hiding her power, Sylvie is finally on her way to Amber City. Here she can join the empress’s magical court and express all she is meant to be. Unfortunately, entering this court is not all she hoped from it. There are many secrets lurking under illusions, and it’s up to Sylvie to figure out how to navigate them. Big but also somewhat obvious spoilers are included below.
For one, this book had many of my favorite tropes. Enemies to lovers. Dangerous court intrigue. Main character is a secret royal. The story doesn’t brush off familiar YA beats, but maintains them while also introducing a wholly unique world.
I don’t comment on this much for books, mostly because I am a character-driven reader, but Amber & Dusk has a spectacular setting. The world at constant dusk sounds haunting and mysterious. The magic plays by interesting rules. The palace and background court intrigue are just right.
There is a bit I didn’t enjoy, though for the most part this story has my complete adoration. Mirage/Sylvie and Sunder are my favorite kind of pairing, but aspects of their romantic growth felt forced by the plot. Then there was a completely unnecessary rebel side plot that, truly, distracts from a lot of the bigger story for several chapters. (It leads to nothing, and adds in a clearly unimportant 3rd point to a love triangle obviously leaning toward a Mirage/Sunder pairing.)
All in all, however, this was a smooth, quick, fun read. I definitely recommend it.