The Setting is all over the place, and I do not just mean the locations but the time as well. Is the story set in an ultra modern era? Is it set in a primitive time?
And it tries too hard with everything such that Tonto Dike’s acting is easier to stomach. Zelie going to ask for a boat was made to feel like a Fulani herdsman going to ask Fayose for settlement.
It was also insulting that the writer expected the ship battle and their description of the consequent carnage to fly. A ship battle doesn’t cause instantaneous and absolute destruction that takes the lives of everybody on-board all the ships. That said, the ship battles were very unrealistic and what’s worse is that they lacked thought, so much so that they betrayed the character of the heroes. I mean, “why would people that couldn’t stand one sentaro, lekan, sacrificing himself suddenly find the disposition to, by their own hands murder hundreds of the very people they set out to protect?”.
And the writer does this again and again, betray the personas of her characters, in other attempts to find a cheap escape from a plot twist she herself engineered. Case in point – Inan’s sudden 360 after being exposed to Zelie’s memories.
They also do not mention why the maji whom Saran’s father tried to make into nobility suddenly revolted and killed Saran’s first family and this gaping plot-hole leaves Saran feeling like a villain created just for the purpose of playing the villain.
This book is a hard pass that would have hurt if I had paid money for it.