Aster’s debut novel ‘Lightlark’ breathes new life into the fantasy genre – The Oswegonian


Alex Aster’s debut novel, “Lightlark,” is an intense fantasy that will leave readers shocked at the twists and turns that occur throughout the book.

Lightlark is an island that appears once every 100 years for 100 days. Five centuries ago, someone placed a curse on the island and the six kingdoms it contains. Every 100 years, the storm surrounding the island disappears and the six rulers of each kingdom are forced to fight to the death to break their curse.

In order to break the curse, a ruler must die, which will result in the death of his entire population. This year is the year when the curse must be broken, otherwise there may be no island to save in the future.

Isla is the leader of the Wildlings, but she has a secret. If one of the other leaders discovers her secret, she will be put in more danger than she already is. He’s been told all his life not to trust any of the other leaders, but some of them are hard to resist.

If you were to read this novel without knowing it was Aster’s first, you’d think she’s been writing fantasy for years. Its global construction shows incredible attention to detail and makes you feel like you are on the island.

“Lightlark” is the perfect book to read if you’re new to the fantasy genre. It is easy to read and not overly complicated. The story is fun and exciting, yet easy to understand.

It’s a fast-paced novel, which makes it hard to put down. The events unfold over 100 days, but it passes quickly. Many fantasy books start slow before getting into the main part of the story, but Aster jumps in, grabbing the reader’s attention.

The six realms consist of Wildling, Starling, Skyling, Sunling, Moonlight, and Nightshade. Because Isla is the main character, Aster spends a lot of time talking about her backstory and her powers.

There are also a lot of details about Sunling’s background as Lightlark is their continent. Nightshade, Moonling, and Starling receive a bit of detail, but not as much.

Skyling, however, seemed a bit sidelined. Aster should have included a little more about these areas to give readers a better understanding of how they work. It seemed that Skyling’s ruler, Azul, had been touched a bit more than the other rulers.

Aster did an amazing job with the plot of “Lightlark”. There are some twists that are hard to see coming, which made for a much more exciting read. This novel will leave you wondering who is trustworthy and who is going to be betrayed next.

By choosing to have only Isla’s point of view, you constantly wonder what the other rulers are up to. This book is not predictable and because of that you feel everything the characters feel.

“Lightlark” is the first book in this series. The second novel will be released sometime in 2023. The ending of this book will leave you wishing the series was over already.

Image of Alex Astre via


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