Blog Tour: Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett (Review & Giveaway!)

This tour is hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club. 
Even the Darkest Stars (Even the Darkest Stars #1) 
by Heather Fawcett 
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy 


Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website: 
Set in a fictional Himalayan kingdom, this is the story of a girl enlisted by a legendary explo-rer to help him climb the kingdom’s deadliest mountain – only to discover that his true missi-on may threaten her whole world.

Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer every known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister, Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove her-self—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means cimbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then, Lusha sets off on her own mis-sion to Raksha with a rival explorer, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.

 The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and other dangers at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth about their mission and her companions—while sur-viving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.

As soon as I heard about Heather Fawcett's Even the Darkest Stars, I knew I had to read it. For one, just look at that cover. Isn't it gorgeous?! Not only do I love the blues but I also love, love, love that it shows Kamzin and her very sassy yet very loyal familiar Ragtooth. Secondly, the summery just begs for it to be read.

The result? Even the Darkest Stars is an incredibly strong debut. To describe this fully, let me take you all through a check list:  

Fantastic world building? ✓  

A unique premise? 
An ending that has me DYING for book 2? ✓ 
And because I can't resist this one...a lovable familiar? ✓ 

So lets start with one of my absolute favorite part of Even the Darkest Stars, which is the world building. It's been a while since I read a good, well developed fantasy, so the descriptions of Kamzin's Himalyan kingdom blew me away. Heather Fawcett did such an incredible job of not only developing the small towns and mountains that made up this town but also bringing it to life completely. It was so easy to feel as if I was right there with Kamzin, River, and the rest of the crew, climbing Raksha while hoping and praying that no evil spirits or witches would appear. 

The only thing that would've made the world building better in my opinion? The addition of a map! I feel like it would've been a nice touch to the story.  

Even the Darkest Stars is loosely inspired by the early climbers of Mt. Everest. This is easy to see once you've read this book, because Even the Darkest Stars is the super out there, fantasy twist to Mt. Everest. The expedition to the top of Raksha brings so much adventure and mystery to the book. What I liked the most about it, however, was how there was so many other stories in play regarding this trip rather than just making it to the top of the mountain (i.e. the search of the talisman, the fate of the original explores, and the desperation of the witches to protect the mountain which matched the desperation of the king to make it there). There's just so much in play, and it makes for one heck of a ride! 

Last but not least, lets talk about the characters. 

Two words that perfectly describes Kamzin? Feisty and determined. This girl has so much fight in her. Throughout the book, there's so many times were I personally would've turned around and given up, but not Kamzin. She trudges along, no matter the risk associated it. I admired that about her. She's a girl who knows what she wants, and while sometimes she lets it cloud her judgement, she still learns from the negatives that pop up from that. At the core of this book, Even the Darkest Stars is Kamzin's coming-of-age, and trust me when I say, she not only has a lot to gain but a lot to loose. Kamzin is someone who's sick of living in her sister's shadow, of always being the source of disappointment in father's life. For once, she wants to be the one who everyone is proud of, who doesn't make constant mistakes that embarrass the whole family. I got that about her, and I saw why this trip meant so much to her because of it. It was her chance to prove herself, that while she couldn't cast the greatest spells, she could climb a deadly mountain. 

Moving on, I did like River and Tam but for very different reasons. River is the brave one, the one who appeals to Kamzin's adventurous and reckless side. I loved seeing them adventure together. Also, their relationship is imperative to Kamzin's growth as a character...I won't say much more about that, but I liked what I saw there. Tam is the boy-next-door, charming and rather tame but willing to do anything to protect the ones he loves. He was so incredibly easy to love, which is what made it so frustrating when Kamzin pushed away his needs and safety to satisfy her own desires. 

While there is so much I enjoyed about this book, there is one thing that brought it down a notch in my eyes: an occasional lack of spark. Stay with me for a second, because I don't know if this is going to make much sense, but here we go. You know when you read the first book in a series, and you love it, but at the same time there's just something missing? Something that truly makes you unable go from really liking the book to down-right loving the book? That's what happened to me here, and I think it mostly had to do with the overall world building that needed to be down to set the course for the rest of the series. It happens with first books often, in my opinion, and that's okay. 

In all, Even the Darkest Stars is a stunning debut! Combining intricate world building and well executed premise, Even the Darkest Stars will have you dying to know what happens to Kamzin. 

Grade: B 

Source: The Fantastic Flying Book Club & Publisher 

About the Author:
I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, where I enjoy wandering around in the wilder-ness and only occasionally getting lost. I’ve also spent extended periods of time in Italy, where I learned very little Italian but ate quite a lot of pizza, and Ireland, where I searched half-successfully for puffins and selkies. Before becoming a writer I worked, among other things, as an archaeologist, a technical writ-er, and a backstage assistant for a Shakespearean theatre company (which I could write sev-eral novels about). I have a Master’s degree in English Literature and briefly considered be-coming a professor, before I realized it involved more than reading books, drinking excessive amounts of tea, and wearing colourful elbow patches. I’m represented by the amazing Brianne Johnson at Writers House. EVEN THE DARKEST STARS, my first novel, was purchased by HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray at auction in a six-figure, two-book deal.
Author Links:



 • Signed Bookplates for EVEN THE DARKEST STARS
• A kinnika necklace, modeled after the talismans in the book (pictured above)
 • US Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tour Schedule: 

September 5th

Pink Polka Dot Books- Welcome Post

September 6th

September 7th

September 8th

Book Munchies- Review & Favorite Quotes

September 9th

The Clever Reader- Review & Favorite Quotes

September 10th

September 11th

Maddie. TV- Review


  1. I think this sounds like a read that I would enjoy. And just adore the name River. :) There will probably be a lot more world building in the second book, from what you say so far it seems pretty interesting though. Great review!

  2. Love tales of expeditions in the Himalayas - even fictional Himalayas! On my shelf it goes.

  3. I've heard great things about this book! I got an ARC of it but I'm not sure I'll be able to read it within the next month or so. Also... There is a love triangle? I gotta pass for sure, if that is the case. :/ I'm glad you enjoyed the book, Lauren!

    Have a great weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  4. This sounds really good. I want to know more about the familiar. I do know what you mean about that spark. I have encountered that with first books in a series before as well.


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