Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Humanity survives on island cities floating high above an ocean world, each protected by a warrior class gifted with mechanical wings and elemental powers. As the civil war among the islands grows deadlier, hot-headed Breanna Skyborn and her thoughtful twin brother, Kael, must uncover the truth behind their parents' deaths and the history of their world if they are going to prevent their people's mass eradication. VERDICT Mercedes Lackey fans, steampunk aficionados, and even fantasy newcomers will find this combination of coming-of-age drama, a vivid magic/technology symbiosis, and high-stakes action hard to put down. (LJ 9/15/15) © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Fantasy takes to the skies in this high-flying, dynamic adventure, which takes place 500 years after a disaster nearly wiped out the human race and left the survivors to build a new civilization on a series of islands floating above an endless, raging sea. Twins Bree and Kael Skyborn were orphaned when their parents were killed in defense of their home. Ever since then, they have wanted nothing more than to join the Seraphim, winged warriors who wield elemental forces in battle. When they turn 16, they're accepted to the Academy and begin intensive training. Bree, a natural in the air, struggles with her control over fire, while Kael works to keep up with his ambitious sister. Their subsequent experiences are set against an increasingly tense backdrop as war threatens to erupt between the islands. Dalglish (the Shadowdance series) creates a rich setting and populates it with amazing visuals; the aerial combat sequences are breathtaking and cinematic. The cast contains the usual school-themed archetypes, but Dalglish manages to shake up their story with some devastating twists. This trilogy tale soars confidently and will appeal to teen and adult audiences alike. Agent: Michael Carr, Veritas Literary. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Dalglish, a relatively new but remarkably prolific writer, begins a fresh epic fantasy series with a richly imagined world in which the remnants of humanity live in the sky on six islands floating above a decimated Earth, the surface engulfed by an endless ocean. The islands are mainly autonomous, but five rely on the sixth and largest, which is called Center, to mediate disputes and provide and maintain needed technology for the others. The story revolves around teenage twins Breanna and Kael, who long to become Seraphim, the warrior class among the island people who fly with mechanical wings and harness elemental energy as weapons. Breanna and Kael are accepted to their island's Seraphim academy, reminiscent of Hogwarts, to begin their training. Dalglish's high-flying action sequences are crisp and exciting, and he sets the stage for book two with a solid ending that will have readers eager for the next installment. The teenage protagonists can be a bit petulant at times, but they are surely multidimensional and will connect with a crossover audience.--Clark, Craig Copyright 2016 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
Twins Breanna and Kael Skyborn live in a hierarchical, corrupt civilization, comprised of six holy islands, aloft above the Endless Ocean. Inhabited by a remnant of humankind, five islands are governed by an Archon, who answers to the sixth island, named Center, from which the Speaker for the Angels, his knights, and sinister theotechs rule. Since only theotechs can repair and dispense the technologies that keep the islands floating, they dictate a system of justice. Each island is protected by its own army of seraphim, warriors who don mechanical wings, use elemental weapons of fire, ice, and rock, and wage aerial battles to maintain social order. Orphaned in battle, the twins are chosen by Center to train as seraphs for their homeland but soon discover that the Speaker for the Angels is power-hungry, intent upon disabling local seraphim and becoming a dictator. As the twins learn to fly, they also learn to question authority, especially fire-throwing Bree; meanwhile, a reformed theotech sows dissent. Epic fantasist Dalglish (Dance of Chaos, 2015, etc.) begins his fast-paced Seraphim trilogy with a predictable plot that recycles a number of old standards: feisty, talented twins; a boarding school where loyalties are made and lost; religion and magic undercut by conflicted ethics. During the repetitive, video game-like battles the action is lively, but to quote Dalglish, although there appears to be a lot going on, "the actual meat is frustratingly thin." While Dalglish's prose is lean, it lacks style and is littered with slang such as "no can do" or "no worries," which not only ill-suits a society of knights and thanes, but also invites an unflattering comparison to the Samaria series. Assertive Bree and uncertain Kael are likable teenagers, but their trials and triumphs are so predictable that it's hard to care about them, the carnage they inflict, or the civilization they protect. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.