The hard magic system was easily the best aspect of this epic fantasy debut. The premise behind the magic, involving extracting bone shards from humans, was a wonderfully creepy concept. I really enjoyed the creation of the constructs, which reminded me of the magical programming in Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett. Fans of that other series will likely be interested in this one too.
Told over multiple perspectives, I found Lin's chapters to be the most engaging. I would have preferred if the entire story was told from her perspective. The other two characters were just not as compelling and I honestly struggled to connect with them for most of the book.
The story started out fairly slow, but it picked up towards the last third with some bug revelations and action packed scenes. It was satisfying to see the narrative threads come together into an exciting conclusion. As the first book in the series, this one had a lot of setup so I believe later books will be stronger.
I would recommend this novel for anyone looking for a new epic fantasy story with a hard magic system.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher.