This is how YA fantasy should be written. If the world doesn’t grab me by the throat and threaten to squeeze the life out of me with a dark magic that can rival or even exceed the good magic, then I probably am not invested in it the way I was with this story.
One of my favorite aspects of the fantasy genre, in general, is the internal struggle of characters trying to balance excessive power. I love to watch characters make hard choices and walk the fine line between good and evil, helpful and hurtful, necessary and excessive, privilege and sacrifice.
This story has the kind of characters I don’t just want to read about, but instead want to journey with through any hardship.