- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Harlequin Teen (April 10 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1335016414
- ISBN-13: 978-1335016416
- Product Dimensions: 15 x 3.7 x 21.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 513 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
The Diminished Hardcover – Apr 10 2018
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"Rich worldbuilding... An intriguing premise and well-constructed setting anchor this fantasy debut." ?Kirkus Reviews
"Two fierce young people battle a fiery landscape and vicious foes in a race for freedom. I was glued to my seat!" ?#1 New York Times bestselling author Tamora Pierce
"A fascinating and wholly original novel. Bo and Vi are fierce, complex characters, and I couldn't devour their story fast enough!" ?Amy Tintera, New York Times bestselling author of Ruined
"Kaitlyn Sage Patterson's debut novel has strong and imaginative world-building and complex characters. With a splash of swoony romance and a thrilling conclusion, readers will be clamoring for the sequel." ?Zoraida Córdova, award-winning author of Labyrinth Lost and The Vicious Deep trilogy
"Life and death, right and wrong, love and grief?Patterson's debut explores the dangerous nature of a world entrenched in dualities. This daring novel challenges the status quo beautifully." ?Natalie C. Parker, author of Beware the Wild
"[A] character-driven narrative that champions self-determination and condemns xenophobia... Entertaining." ?Publishers Weekly
"Readers are in for a wild ride...Patterson serves up an adventurous story with plenty of opulence in a richly designed world that fans of Melina Marchetta's Finnikin of the Rock will appreciate. Surprising alliances paired with themes that reflect modern struggles will remind readers of The Handmaid's Tale while remaining accessible, enjoyable, and relevant for teens." ?School Library Journal
"Patterson seamlessly subverts traditional gender dynamics by having women succeed in many traditionally masculine roles, and same-sex relationships-integral to Alskad society-are treated in a matter-of-fact manner... This series starter is written with refreshing inclusiveness, and that makes it a worthwhile addition to fantasy collections." ?Booklist
About the Author
Kaitlyn Sage Patterson grew up with her nose in a book near the Great Smoky Mountains. When she’s not untangling some particularly troublesome plot point, she can be found cooking elaborate meals, riding horses, or with her husband and their rescue dogs.
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In the Alskad Empire, nearly all are born with a twin, two halves to form one whole…yet some face the world alone.
A rare few are singleborn in each generation, and therefore given the right to rule by the gods and goddesses. Bo Trousillion is one of these few, born into the royal line and destined to rule. Though he has been chosen to succeed his great-aunt, Queen Runa, as the leader of the Alskad Empire, Bo has never felt equal to the grand future before him.
When one twin dies, the other usually follows, unable to face the world without their other half. Those who survive are considered diminished, doomed to succumb to the violent grief that inevitably destroys everyone whose twin has died. Such is the fate of Vi Abernathy, whose twin sister died in infancy. Raised by the anchorites of the temple after her family cast her off, Vi has spent her whole life scheming for a way to escape and live out what's left of her life in peace.
As their sixteenth birthdays approach, Bo and Vi face very different futures—one a life of luxury as the heir to the throne, the other years of backbreaking work as a temple servant. But a long-held secret and the fate of the empire are destined to bring them together in a way they never could have imagined.
Honestly I really wanted to put this rating up to five stars, but I couldn't because I just couldn't get into the book until about three quarters of the way through. I really liked the cover, and the description sounded amazing, but the writing was a little hard to read and the story was very slow up until pretty much the end.
In a world filled with twins, Vi is one of the diminished. That means she lost her twin, and one day will succumb to the grief that comes along with that, and she will become violent. She lost her other half when she was a baby, and although she's just approaching her sixteenth birthday at the start of the book, she's grown up hated and feared by others, for something far out of her control. Her only friend, Sawny, is leaving her with his twin sister Lily, and she's beside herself. Most parents dump off their "dimmy" children, because they can't handle the stigma. She's barely fed, and barely alive, while the temple brats around her live lavish lives. Vi is basically a slave.
Bo, on the other hand, has lived an amazing life as one of the few single born people in the world. He's set to take over as heir to the throne on his sixteenth birthday, and although there have been a few assassination attempts throughout his life, none really stuck. He's royalty by blood, and that's how he'll stay. Though they live completely different lives, they're both filled with an unimaginable amount of loneliness, being surrounded by twins constantly. The book switches viewpoints between the two characters.
Although I really enjoyed the last quarter of the book, the rest of it was a slow burn, so slowly in fact that I found myself reading for hours and still getting nowhere with this story. I was so bummed out by that, because it sounded amazing and like something I would love. Although I'm still interested in what happens next with the characters and the world they're in, I'm hoping that it picks up a little faster than this one did. Check it out and see what you think.
Thanks for reading! Check out this review and more at my blog.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The rest of the book, however... unfortunately, the most interesting plot in this book is resolved halfway with the twist, and the second most interesting plot takes a backseat to things that are obviously supposed to lead into a sequel hook. There is a LOT of violence in this book, and much of it is gratuitous. There are violent explosions, whipping, neck-slicing, straight up torture, lots of attempted murder, ect. A lot of characters die, and that's how the plot is either instigated or resolved. I find that to be kinda boring and cheap.
I also wonder if the main characters had enough agency in their own stories. The male protagonist, Bo, spends the first half of the book reading documents in secret. The other main character, Vi, spends her first half of the book getting into obvious trouble, and then getting into more trouble with the help of two men. This book really rests on its supporting characters - the wise and generous Queen Runa; the ever-practical solicitor; a scheming pair of cousins; a dashing young man who I couldn't help but imagine looking like Falstaff, which then made him not very dashing. The supporting characters do a lot of heavy lifting in this story compared to the protagonists.
My final gripe is that in the setup for the sequel... the main characters split up again! When all I really wanted was to see them going on adventures together. I know, from an authorial standpoint, this is so the second book can cover just as much ground as the first book, but it was disappointing.
I don't really recommend this book, unless you're looking for a light and quick read to pass the time before you get into a heavier book (which is my reason for buying this book.)
There’s more. THE DIMINISHED made me fall in love with a new genre. I don’t read YA Fantasy as a rule (I'm 44 years old). Before this, I hadn’t read much YA at all. And I had no idea how much I was missing out on. This book proves that good writing transcends genres.
Vi’s twin died in infancy and, remarkably, she’s managed to avoid the murderous insanity exhibited by most of the Diminished. She’s now sixteen and about to be cast out of the loveless temple where she was raised. Bo, on the other hand, is one of the very few singleborn of his generation, and is destined to rule the Alskad Empire. Although neither of them realizes it, the fate of their society rests on a shared secret from their past.
Told from alternating perspectives, The Diminished incorporates some of the most beloved elements of the YA and Fantasy genres in such an engaging and fresh manner that it will appeal to readers of every taste. I loved the lavish descriptions: the clothes, the scenery, the incredibly inventive food. I also loved the nonstop creativity of the plot and the setting; the Alskad Empire seemed at once so realistic and so unfamiliar. But it was the characters who won me over: the way their personalities complimented one another, their believability, even their humor. Vi is feisty and Bo is sweet and I could not stop thinking about what was going to happen to them next. The Diminished is destined to be an instant classic.