As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family; by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman; and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft.
When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.
You know, for that blurb, I expected much more of an adventure from this book than I actually got. Even letting go for the fact that it is a standalone, I was expecting much more development from this book. Kali is a princess of a floating kingdom in the sky, said to been held aloft by the magic of a phoenix. The earth below is overrun by monsters of every kind, and when she falls off her kingdom, it is a BIG change for her. For one, there are creatures about to eat her at every turn, and then there is the fact that she doesn’t exactly have a way to get back. When Griffin enters the scene, it becomes obvious that there are humans on Earth, too, not just on the floating kingdom. As the lies she’s been told come apart, a conspiracy is revealed that makes her even more determined to get back.
Kali is a strong girl who adapts quickly to the situtation – a thing that saved her life down there. For her entire life, she has been doing what was expected of her, even if she would rather just watch over her kingdom from a lonely high outcropping. Griffin, for his part, is very good-natured, bright (despite his painful past and the terrible existence of a world overrun with monsters) and well, that’s all I got of him. The book is terribly short, and though it is filled with excitement, adventure and some great action scenes of monster-slaying, in the end, though, I felt it was missing substance. The backstory and canon of the world was poorly explained – like how the Rendering happened, the Benus, that generator thingy, the two (?) moons and the ending was also a bit anti-climactic. It sounded more complex in plot than in execution, and this is why I was let down.
Overall, I found it innovative in conception but wasn’t rendered properly enough.