I have loved fantasy since childhood, and have even possibly become somewhat of a snob when it comes to this genre. So I don’t say this easily: the world-building in this book surpasses Eragon and approaches The Lord of the Rings. Probably enough said for fantasy readers, but it still doesn’t do this book justice. Emmie Mears literally created an entire new world with multiple cultures, each with their own belief system, customs, language, and way of life. 

The world of Hearthfire was built down to the smallest details, even down to when different trees bear fruit and how cultures measure time. And the characters feel like authentic natives of this world. This book is like if Horizon Zero Dawn had magic instead of machines. The main character is a magic-wielding archer outcast bent on righting ancient wrongs, and she feels totally real. The mystery she stumbles upon is way too good for me to spoil here, but I will just say that it weaves the nature of magic with the history of this land Mears created. 

I have very rarely encountered such a perfect combination of expert world-building, vivid characters, and a mind-blowing plot in a fantasy series. One of my all-time favorite series.

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