Everless by Sara Holland is one of the most unique fantasy worlds that I have read in quite a while and is a stunning debut by Holland. In the kingdom of Sempera, time is in your blood and is used as currency. The rich and royalty can use blood irons to have eternal life while the poor bleed years from their lives to pay for rent. Jules lives in this world with her father and they are struggling to pay the rent of their small cabin they fled to after their escape 10 years ago from Everless, the estate of the Gerlings who are one of the richest, most powerful families in Sempera. However, when Jules realizes how little time left her father has she agrees to go back to Everless as a servant girl where she knows they pay their servants a year blood iron at the end of every month. Her father begs her not to go and says how dangerous Everless and the Queen are, but Jules makes a deal with their landlord to no longer take blood irons from her father until she returns from Everless.
Once Jules arrives at Everless she sees the plans underway for the marriage of Lord Roan Gerling to the Queen’s daughter, Ina Gold. As children Jules and Roan were close friends and since childhood Jules has loved him, so the plans for the marriage distress her. Jules is originally assigned to work in the kitchen and as a servant she listens to the whispers of the Lord and Ladies through the walls in the passageways for servants. In these tunnels she runs into Roan who recognizes her and agrees to put in a good word with his fiance, Ina Gold, who needs a new handmaiden. As Jules is accepted as the second handmaiden to Ina she becomes closer to Ina and the first handmaiden, Caro, who share with her about Ina and the Queen’s life. Jules is determined to succeed in her role and discover why her father told her that it was dangerous to be at Everless and near the Queen.
What makes this fantasy novel rise about the rest when I read it was the fast-paced mystery, action, and heart pounding secrets and twists. The action continues to build throughout the novel as Jules discovers the true faces of characters and Everless. There are characters that you believe to be untouchable and Holland quickly crushes how you think the story is going to go. There are many characters and secrets Jules learns that aren’t what you first believe them to be. The book ends on a huge cliffhanger and I can’t wait to find out what happens to Jules in the future books. I can’t recommend this new fantasy enough if you enjoy fantasy worlds and an excellent mystery.
Everless by Sara Holland. 9780062653659. January 2nd, 2018, Gr 9-12.
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