This is a book that’s been hovering at the edge of my radar for a while now and I was pretty pleased to stumble upon it at the library. Andnowihavetobuyitbecauseitwassogood I mean, wat. I loved this book. I fell in love with Elisa within the first four pages. A far cry from the normal high fantasy heroine, Elisa is the under appreciated younger daughter who has a destiny too big for her to fully comprehend. As God’s Chosen, she has a stone, a Godstone, in her belly that marks her with some grand destiny. That is, if she can somehow complete her destiny. Most chosen don’t. Now, I admit, when a high fantasy novel has a heavy monotheistic religion in it, it sometimes doesn’t sit right with me. (Having nothing much to read but Christian fantasy books as a kid basically turned me off of having a ‘real world’ religion take place in a fantasy setting), this book pulled it off perfectly though by crafting a completely unique religion (religious world building is my faaaaavourite thing) in a really well built world (all those names. Wonderful names that I can’t remember how to spell for the life of me :3) Elisa was an amazing heroine. Unsure of herself, not the most confident of folk in the beginning, her skin is darker than her sisters and food is her only solace. I just love her a lot and her progression and growth from secret wife, hidden away and kept in the dark, to God’s Chosen One through the story was beautiful. She really stands out amidst the “normal girls” of YA (… you know what I mean). I was really excited with how the romance was handled in this story. (Two love interests (kinda sorta maybe) but no love triangle? *success*) It was resolved even better, it was resolved perfectly, oh, I am pleased with how tastefully light the romance was. I’m just really happy with everything in this book and how it was handled. The magic wasn’t overbearing and fit perfectly as a foil to the religious aspect, the group of rebellious Hill folk were probably my favourites (Cosmé was easily one of my favourite characters), I adored the Eastern elements to the world building (as much as I love the European elements typical to fantasy, I really love when authors choose to move their setting to a more Eastern base. I love palaces in the deserts what can I say). The narration was rich and handled well in the first person (with a character that in the wrong hands could have come across as overly whiny to be honest, but she never did). Everything just reminded me why YA fantasy is my favourite genre and why I choose to write it myself.