Review: The Diminished by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson

April 9, 2018 Book Review, Young Adult 14 ★★★½

I received this book for free from Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The DiminishedThe Diminished by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 10th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Goodreads Giveaway
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In the Alskad Empire, nearly all are born with a twin, two halves to form one whole…yet some face the world alone.

The singleborn

A rare few are singleborn in each generation, and therefore given the right to rule by the gods and goddesses. Bo Trousillion is one of these few, born into the royal line and destined to rule. Though he has been chosen to succeed his great-aunt, Queen Runa, as the leader of the Alskad Empire, Bo has never felt equal to the grand future before him.

The diminished

When one twin dies, the other usually follows, unable to face the world without their other half. Those who survive are considered diminished, doomed to succumb to the violent grief that inevitably destroys everyone whose twin has died. Such is the fate of Vi Abernathy, whose twin sister died in infancy. Raised by the anchorites of the temple after her family cast her off, Vi has spent her whole life scheming for a way to escape and live out what's left of her life in peace.

As their sixteenth birthdays approach, Bo and Vi face very different futures—one a life of luxury as the heir to the throne, the other years of backbreaking work as a temple servant. But a long-held secret and the fate of the empire are destined to bring them together in a way they never could have imagined.

The concept of this book was one that really drew me in. Here we have a world where twins are the norm and singleborn are the rare occurrence. The twin dynamic is quite fascinating. They play a huge role in each other’s lives and build such a strong connection to each other. When one dies, it completely devastates the remaining twin, eventually leading them to succumb to a violent grief. They are know as the diminished. The story is told in alternating chapters, between one of the diminished named Vi, and a singleborn in line to rule the Empire named Bo.

The world building was a huge interest in this story for me. There is some background into the belief system in this world and I particularly love the story of the broken moon and how this world they live in came to be. There are temples and laws and these scary, intimidating women who protect the people. Not everything is as it seems within not only the system but the characters as well.  And speaking of the characters, I really loved not only the main two but also a lot of the secondary we meet along the way. Bo starts off as someone unsure about his role as a future leader and grows into someone completely dedicated to truth and doing what’s best for his people despite the obstacles in his way. And Vi’s story broke my heart. The way she was treated was horrific but she never let it break her spirit. Nothing was more important to her than her freedom and her friends. Both characters had such heart and love the people that matter to them so deeply. Because there was much for these two to discover about themselves and the secrets happening around them, I found myself mistrusting anyone and everyone they met and I thought that added quite a fun dynamic to the overall reading experience.

Though I did enjoy the plot in the long run, it definitely took me awhile to get there. It is on the longer side (almost 500 pages) and it felt it too, especially in the middle. It is a duology so where certain aspects of the novel had some great resolution, there is much to wrap up and I like the direction the story is heading. There is corruption, deceit, and all sorts of danger to come and I look forward to discovering how it wraps up for these characters I grew to love and this intruiging world they live in. Even though it is a slower read, I still think it is worth checking out!

About Kaitlyn Sage Patterson

Kaitlyn Sage Patterson grew up with her nose in a book outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After completing her M.F.A., she moved to South Korea, where she taught English and started writing her debut novel. THE DIMINISHED will be published by HarlequinTEEN in April 2018, followed by its sequel in 2019.

When she’s not staring off into space and trying to untangle some particularly troublesome plot point, she can be found in her kitchen, perfecting the art of the macaron; or at the barn, where she rides and trains dressage horses; or with her husband, spoiling their sweet rescue dogs.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

14 Responses to “Review: The Diminished by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson”

  1. Kara S

    I am glad I finally took the time to learn more about this book (beyond the fact it has a fantastic cover design 🙂 by reading your thoughts about it here. It seems it wouldn’t be a great fit for me since the plot drags somewhat (or to be more precise), it could drag somewhat since it did for you). Perhaps more importantly, I find the whole concept of life devastating grief being the universal result of losing one’s twin in this alternate world pretty implausible. In sum, I am not willing to suspend disbelief for a potentially mediocre read. Thanks for the skinny on this new release! –Kara S

  2. Nick

    I didn’t realize this book was so long! I requested it off NG because of the unique concept too, but now I’m scared of that length. It does sound like a decent story overall though, and the world building sounds really well done especially. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Sara!

    • Sara @ Forever 17 Books

      It is quite lengthy. I prefer under 400 mostly because I’m a slower reader so length can affect so much for me. So when I see longer I do pause before reading, though I’ve read plenty longer novels that have had no issues for me.

  3. Danielle Hammelef

    Wow, this is a long book like Children of Blood and Bone. I think this will be a fun book to read with the characters and world-building. I love when books can bring out such strong emotions for readers. Thanks for the review–yours is the first I’ve read on this book.

  4. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    The idea that twins are the norm really intrigues me and I really like the sounds of both of the main characters and that the secondary characters are great too. I’ll have to keep this in mind for when I have time for a long read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book.

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