The Valley of Stars (The Rise of Penumbra Book 1) by Yona Katz Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young Star banished to the world they once protected must discover how to live amongst the people she once served, and discover the hidden truths her people hid from her in author Yona Katz’s “The Valley of Stars”, the first book in The Rise of Penumbra series.


The Synopsis 

Asha, a Star, is an outstanding seventeen-year-old student in the flawless realm of the Valley of Stars. Her life’s purpose is to bring light to Adama, the world below. The promise of her perfect noble future is shattered when one day, she is caught breaking the law.

Asha’s disgraceful crime is unforgivable and requires the ultimate punishment. She is thrown out of the Valley of Stars to crash down on Adama—certain death for any Star.

Against all odds, Asha’s execution doesn’t go as planned. Not only does she miraculously survive the fall but a mysterious Adamian comes to her rescue. Her saviour is a distrusting girl who has no intention of compromising her own mission for the sake of a fallen Star.

Asha’s idea of Adama is challenged as she quickly learns that this world is not as safe as the Stars are taught. With danger hot on their heels, the exiled Star and the guarded Adamian might find that they need each other more than they think.

The Valley of Stars is the first book in the trilogy The Rise of Penumbra. This volume takes Asha on an unexpected adventure across Adama, where wonders and dangers go hand in hand, and friendship and love make anything possible.

This is a Young Adult series with no explicit content.

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The Review

The world-building in this book was incredible. The way the author was able to explore the connection people have to the stars and the cosmos as a whole was greatly felt through the themes of this book, and the amazing use of imagery in the author’s writing style was both poetic in its delivery and creative as it allowed readers to really get a sense of this world and those who live within it and above it. 

The character development was truly spectacular in this book. The way the character of Asha had a truly realized and full character arc was great to see, as her perspective on the people of Adama and the truth behind her own Star people’s role in the universe was so emotional and refreshing to see come to life on the page, and the relationships she developed along the way helped readers really connect to this protagonist. 

The Verdict

Heartfelt, richly developed, and wildly entertaining, author Yona Katz’s “The Valley of Stars” is a fantastic YA fantasy LGBTQ+ Romance that is filled with action and suspense. The twists and turns the narrative takes and the iconic story of a young woman who dared to question the world around her and was thrust into a life of adventure as a result, as well as the cliffhanger ending, made this one book you won’t be able to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

A citizen of the universe, Yona Katz is a financial director during the day. But as soon as the night falls, numbers and reports are chased away by the stories that live in the stars. One day, Yona has decided she is brave enough to share these stories with you.

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