“anarresa said: 2 stars
Magical fantasy set in a fictional Middle Eastern empire which was intriguing in principle, but with too many characters to really care about. I feel the same about the cast of Game of Thrones, so if you enjoy that series disregard my rating and give this one a try.
In the capital of the Cerani Empire citizens are plagued by the pattern, an intricate design which forms on the skin. The pattern either kills or turns the infected into carriers, bodies whose will is supplanted by the Pattern-Master. The goal of the pattern and its master is unknown, though some gods and elemental beings have some inklings which they share with certain humans, but it serves as an opportunity for enemies of the Empire and particularly of the Emperor Beyon to further their own goals. Full of political maneuvering and bursts of fighting the novel stays exciting, but the cast of characters is large and while they are developed as best they can be there wasn't enough time for me to connect with them.”