Genre & Length: Fantasy, 368 pages
Cursed with endless drowsiness, Enchantress Hiresha sleeps more than she lives. Since she never has had a chance to raise a family, she sometimes feels like every woman is pregnant except for her. This time, she is right.
From virgin to grandmother, all the women in her city have conceived. One unexpected pregnancy is a drama; fifty thousand is citywide hysteria.
A lurking sorcerer drains power from the unnatural pregnancies, and Hiresha must track him by his magic. Unfortunately, her cultured education in enchantment ill-equips her to understand his spellcraft, which is decidedly less than proper. The only person uncivilized enough to help is the Lord of the Feast, a dangerous yet charming illusionist. Associating with him may imperil Hiresha’s city, yet refusing his help will allow the sorcerer to leech godlike power from the mass births.
Plot: This was a fascinating plot… but I found the characters obnoxious. All of them. Hiresha especially is haughty to a fault, though not without reason – she’s been groomed to be that way, and also uses it to hide some insecurities.
I wanted to sock Hiresha’s maid nearly every time she opened her mouth.
That said, as much as I disliked the characters, the story was good. It’s interesting. Not necessarily enthralling, though.
But there were so many euphemisms for pregnancy. Too many.
Pacing: It was okay. It felt like it dragged at times – often because Hiresha’s magic only works when she’s asleep, and she has a hard time staying awake.
In those scenes, I often had a hard time staying awake along with Hiresha.
Writing Style: It was… interesting. The book read to me as if it were a hybrid between high fantasy and a mystery. It took a little bit of getting used to, but it was pulled off well in the end.
Would I read this book again: Probably not. It was good, but not so much that I want to.