My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a beautifully written, deeply introspective fantasy novel.
A magic-based war is routinely slaughtering the people of Kashishi. The characters in this novel are trying (across 3 separate locations in 3 groupings) to prevent seismic political changes, at great personal cost. Each character carries their own darkness with them, and a recurring theme is how darkness is deeply personal–and often, kept private, to great cost. Many heroic fantasy narratives overlook or underplay the costs of heroism, while this novel emphasizes it.
This is a book that is worth your time when you are ready to go to a quiet, thoughtful place, and sit with it a bit. Thoroughly emotionally satisfying, and a bit bittersweet.