Title: The Endless Skies
Author: Shannon Price
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication date: August 17th, 2021
High above the sea, floats the pristine city of the Heliana. Home to winged-lion shapeshifters―the Leonodai―and protected from the world of humans by an elite group of warriors, the Heliana has only known peace.
After years of brutal training, seventeen-year-old Rowan is ready to prove her loyalty to the city and her people to become one of the Leonodai warriors. But before Rowan can take the oath, a deadly disease strikes the city’s children. Soon the warriors―including two of Rowan’s closest friends―are sent on a dangerous mission to find a fabled panacea deep within enemy lands.
Left behind, Rowan learns a devastating truth that could compromise the mission and the fate of the Heliana itself. She must make a decision: stay with the city and become a warrior like she always dreamed, or risk her future in an attempt to save everyone she loves. Whatever Rowan decides, she has to do it fast, because time is running out, and peace can only last so long…
The Endless Skies is a stand alone YA Fantasy, with a light love triangle romance plot line. The world is split between the humans and the magic folk, tribes that can turn into specific animals at will. The two groups have been at war for years, but now the Leonodai, the lion faction, are besieged with a plague that affects children, and they’re dying. The cure resides in the human lands, and warriors must fight to bring the cure back home, especially when the young Prince falls ill. Told in alternating POVs from Rowan, Callen, and Shirene – their sides of the journey to save their home is told.
I liked this book for the unique nature of the magic system, and the alternating POVs. I think they were done well and were necessary to the plot line as they told very important sides of the plot, without feeling redundant. The writing is solid, good flow and pacing – though I feel it could have been longer and it would’ve been a bit better.
I wish the world-building was presented a lot earlier than it was. It takes at least 30-50 pages for the background/history of the Leonodai/humans to be presented and I spent those initial pages very confused. I think the author tried to avoid info-dumping, but went a bit too far into the other direction for my preferences. But overall, a solid and entertaining fantasy that wrapped up all the story lines well.
Thank you to Tor Teen and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!