There are some (fair enough) comparisons to Shadow and Bone being made with this story, because the heroine Liora is basically a Sun Summoner, although it’s not called that - it’s ‘the power of a star’ living inside her. Where Luminous diverges, however, is in the antagonist, who doesn’t have the power of shadows. The character with the power of shadows is actually Liora’s love interest and strongest ally. The antagonist instead has the power of ‘nothingness’ - he is a void. When people touch him, their emotions, their cares, everything just drain away. Darius is an unquenchable void that cannot be filled, and he’s the most powerful man in the kingdom, searching out mages and forcing them into service.
Hidden away by her father, Liora’s glowing skin means she can’t hide forever, and Darius knows what she is from the first glance. An apprenticeship with the weaver-witch Margana is the only way Liora can escape being forced to the capital immediately, but it soon becomes apparent that Margana’s being forced to weave something unthinkable… a void which could destroy the whole world.
I did enjoy this, but I do feel like it’s a bit too much like Shadow and Bone - Darius and the Darkling felt very similar and Liora/Alina are basically the same person, but I don’t think the worldbuilding is as strong. I’ll give it four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.