Arrah is sixteen and she still has no magic. This is a huge embarrassment because her parents are both incredibly powerful witchdoctors, her mother the Ka-Priestess of the Almighty Temple. There is one thing that a desperate wannabe-witchdoctor can do to get magic: trade away years of their life in exchange. Something bad is coming, and Arrah and her family will be at the center of it.
This is the first in a planned trilogy of novels, and there’s a whole lot going on. There are a whole slew of gods to get to know, and much history. I felt like what we got to know about Arrah before the story really began was mostly about her deep wish to have magic and be like her family, but it wasn’t quite enough to make me root for her outside of her being the protagonist.
I love a story set in an alternate world. I enjoyed all the gods and the selfishness I imagine comes with being one of many mostly-undying gods with centuries of experiences. Maybe that was part of my trouble getting into the story: with gods so interesting, it’s hard to care about mere mortals.
Overall, this was a really solid book. I’d like to read the next one, now that the world-building part is mostly accomplished, and see what happens next.