Sunrise Meets the Star is an adventurous coming-of-age story. Verone is whisked away from his small remote village to help a group of strangers complete a mysterious quest. On the road he goes from boy to man and discovers things about himself he never imagined possible.
I really enjoyed seeing Verone’s character development. Starting as an educated but very poor young man, but treated as a lord as soon as he joins his travelling companions, it was very interesting to see how he dealt with his sudden change of circumstance. He grapples with how to adjust while staying the man he was before and this definitely added a depth to his character. I also thought how the culmination of the quest panned out was very clever. (I know I’m being vague, but I’d hate to spoil anything.)
One thing that was a bit tricky for me starting the book is there was not quite enough world-building. I knew that Verone started out living in a farming village in a fantasy world, but I was not sure whether to picture something like the English countryside with rolling hills, farmland near a forest, or someplace more arid. The world building definitely developed more as the story went on, but at the beginning it was a bit hard for me to orient myself. Another thing that kept me from fully enjoying the story was one of the characters, Berlin. For over half of the book Berlin keeps insulting Verone, calling him peasant and saying things like Verone doesn’t deserve the nice clothes Anteries, the leader of the group, bought him. He continues to do this despite the fact that everyone repeatedly tells him to stop and at one point they even threaten to send him home. It really grated on my nerves, and even though Berlin does change, the change is so gradual that the payoff was not worth the many pages of him being a nuisance.
I would recommend this book to fans of quest books. It follows the Heroic Journey to a T, making it full of gripping trials and an intense climax. Although the characters are all adults, I’d say this book would be appropriate for the older end of the Middle Grade audience and up.