This book moved along at a fairly steady pace, but it remained interesting the whole while. The characters were all well-constructed and while I don'tThis book moved along at a fairly steady pace, but it remained interesting the whole while. The characters were all well-constructed and while I don't know much about Ancient Egypt apart from the names if a few gods, the while thing felt authentic....more
I have read some of Ruth Nestvold’s books of short stories, but I have to admit it was a while ago. HOriginally posted at A Keyboard and an Open Mind
I have read some of Ruth Nestvold’s books of short stories, but I have to admit it was a while ago. However, when Ruth started sharing excerpts of Island of Glass on her blog for WIPpet Wednesdays, I became pretty excited to read it in its entirety. It did not disappoint.
Island of Glass is set in an alternate 17th century Venice, where alchemy won over chemistry and thus began the Age of Magic. Chiara Dragoni is a maestra glass maker in Murano and like all glass makers of the period, is forbidden to leave Venice, lest she share the secrets of glass making with the rest of Europe. When Chiara’s uncle is arrested after being caught on the mainland, Chiara comes up with a plan to bargain for his safety, but little does she realise how much her life is going to change thanks to one small gesture.
While it’s not entirely obvious from that brief summary, the story draws a lot of parallels with Cinderella, Most notably the glass slippers Chiara makes as a gift for the prince in exchange for her uncle’s freedom. However, do not expect to simply mad the name fairytale you already know, just in a different setting. The prince in this story is a complete slime bag, who made me shudder nearly every time he opened his mouth. He serves to make Chiara realise exactly where her heart lies, and pushes her to realise her deepest dreams.
Chiara herself is a strong, well rounded character; she works hard to get what she wants, but she is not infallible, and needs advice from friends and family members surrounding her. Her main love interest, Pasqual, does not actually play an enormous part in the story, but when he is there, he is quite charming, and also a character who has his own goals.
It is also quite clear that Ruth Nestuold has done her research into Venetian life at the time. While she has tweaked certain parts of history to suit her alternate world, much of it is based in our own history, and the world felt authentic as I read.
The end of this book left me cheering for Chiara and Pasqual, but also concerned for what might happen to them in future; the prince and his mother do not sound like ones to be crossed. l can’t wait to see what happens in Book 2!...more
I just realised I had posted my review in a comment, rather than in the actual review text box. AwkwarOriginally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind
I just realised I had posted my review in a comment, rather than in the actual review text box. Awkward. Here it is.
Griffin is the Chosen, probably the most important person on Earth, for she will be the one to choose whether Heaven or Hell gets to rule Earth for the next thousand millennia. If she doesn’t make her choice, the Apocalypse begins. Devils from Hell will do anything within their power to see that she doesn’t choose Heaven, but Griffin has Angels on her side, as well as a number of Warriors, humans dedicated to casting the creatures of Hell back to Earth.
I was little bit torn about what to rate this book at first, because while there were parts I quite liked, there were other parts I didn’t, and I wasn’t sure which way the balance tipped.
I honestly liked the plot, and it was the sound of it that made me offer to write a review in the first place. I’ve watched a bit of Supernatural and things like that (okay, I’ve watched five seasons of Supernatural, don’t judge me), but I haven’t read that many books that deal with these types of religious themes. There were lots of familiar aspects, such as salt and holy water repelling demons, but I liked Robinson’s incorporation of things like religious sites around the world. All too often, the Apocalypse seems to happen in the middle of the USA, or the UK/Western Europe, not really taking into account that Christianity is more far-reaching than that.
Having said that, I found that sometimes the structure got in the way of the storytelling. While I sympathised with Griffin whenever horrible things happened to her, the fact that we missed so much of her life in between the events the devil Alaria forced her through meant that it was sometimes hard really empathising properly. It was probably in the last third or so, in the immediate lead-up to the Choosing, that I was really able to get into her character and share her journey.
My other main criticism is the number of sex scenes, which was a lot. This is just a personal preference of course, but I’m not a huge fan of reading that kind of content. The first one or two were fine, the first was arguably even plot relevant, but after that it got a bit much. I also felt that Griffin and Braxton’s relationship happened a little too quickly – I can’t remember exactly how long they’d been in each other’s company at the time, but it didn’t feel very long, and given the prickly beginning to their partnership, it all seemed a bit fast.
My favourite character was Alaria. She had an interesting (tragic!) backstory, and a unique motivation. While she seemed somewhat repulsive in the beginning, once we started to learn her side of things, I began to sympathise with her most of all.
The preview chapter of the next book was actually enough of a teaser that I would be interested in picking up the second. Some of the characters from book 1 remain, while there will be new introductions as well. All in all, this was an enjoyable read....more
Quick disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
As with her 2013 novel, The Beloved Daughter, Alana Terry pulls no punches as she once again visits the topic of young women in North Korea. In Slave Again she focuses on human trafficking, and the situation faced by so many women who struggle to cross the border into China, only to end up in the sex industry.
While the book’s blurb only mentions one character, Mee-Kyong, the book really has more of an ensemble cast. Mee-Kyong has escaped from the prison camp she was born in, but she knows that once she reaches the border, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will be fine from here on in. There is also the naive Sun, who believes she is going to find a job across the border to help her struggling family. There is her brother, who is trying to find her and bring her home. And there are also Juliette and Roger, American missionaries living in China and secretly assisting North Korean refugees.
The book is often violent and harrowing; even when events are not specifically described, it is easy to tell what was happening to these characters behind closed doors. Some characters die, and sometimes it will take you by surprise exactly who the author was willing to kill off.
Mee-Kyong and Sun’s stories were definitely the ones I had the most investment in. I really wanted to see them escape to some kind of freedom. Mee-Kyong’s outlook later on in the book, after she has met Roger and Juliette, is also very interesting and raises some deep questions, such as the real meaning of freedom.
I actually felt a bit uncomfortable about Roger and Juliette, not because they were Christian (I’m a Christian, so that didn’t bother me), but because they seemed to treat the refugees they took in more like pets or projects to be worked on, rather than real human beings. Maybe that was an intentional character trait given them by the author, but I wasn’t entirely sure.
That was really my only qualm, however. Alana Terry’s writing is wonderful and this book is truly an eye-opener. I gather Alana has another installment in this series already in the works, and I look forward to it as well....more
Okay, I admit it, I am a sucker for baby dragons. Well, dragons of all sizes are awesome, buReview originally published at A Keyboard and an Open Mind
Okay, I admit it, I am a sucker for baby dragons. Well, dragons of all sizes are awesome, but there’s something about the way baby dragons tend to fall somewhere between a puppy and a kitten in terms of behaviour and are definitely just as cute that makes me want to flail my arms and go “Aww!”
This book is a quick, delightful little fantasy story, centering on Aubrey Goodknight, who discovers a mysterious book, “The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon-Keeping”, just when she is feeling most alone. Next thing she knows, she is hatching a dragon in her oven, and raising him while trying to keep his presence a secret.
Hugo, as she names him, is completely adorable, and I was continually “Aww!”-ing as I read. Aubrey was a well-rounded character herself, with equal amounts of insecurity and bravery when required. I also really enjoyed the character of Ben, Aubrey’s eventual boyfriend. He was just so far removed from usual romantic leads in novels: he wore glasses, was a bit dorky, and enjoyed LARP [Live Action Role Play] on weekends. Just as Aubrey is a Wanderer, it is revealed Ben is a “Believer”, which is just as important to Hugo’s growth and the future of dragons in general as the Wanderers are.
The mythology of the book is revealed at a nice pace, mostly through the texts of The Wanderer’s Guide, though towards the end, information is revealed through a few new characters. There are some intriguing bad guys that the reader is aware of for most of the story, though their motivations don’t become clear until later, which keeps up the suspense.
While I’m not 100% sure, I’m assuming that this is the first in a series, as there is still lots of the story to hear. I look forward to the next installment!...more
I had this book on my Kindle for ages before I got around to reading it. I think I downloaded it during a free promotion but had not paid attention toI had this book on my Kindle for ages before I got around to reading it. I think I downloaded it during a free promotion but had not paid attention to the summary and thought it was full of poetry or something that I’m equally not actually that keen on, and thus kept putting off reading it at all.
What a stupid decision that turned out to be! Let’s clear it up now, this is actually a really entertaining YA supernatural book, with an engaging main character, side characters which evoked serious emotional responses from me (mostly of the “I want to punch them!” variety, but since that’s what the main character was also feeling, I think that was the point), and a plot full of suspense and intrigue.
Okay, maybe I’m getting a little hyperbolic so let me go into more detail. The main character, Reagan, and her family, suffer a huge tragedy when Reagan’s brother, Sam, is killed in what appears to be a bear attack while they are camping at Yellowstone Park. Sam’s body is never recovered, though, and Reagan starts having strange dreams about a gold-eyed wolf who insists she follow him. Meanwhile, grief starts to drive Reagan and her parents apart, and she becomes closer to her grandmother, a Wiccan woman with whom her mother has had very little to do in a long time, but who seems to be the only one willing to take Reagan seriously.
The book is very fast-paced; I would have read it in one sitting if I had been able to (unfortunately I had to drag myself out of bed to do housework). It was easy to empathise with Reagan, and I found myself always wanting to hit the other characters when they were treating her badly. The teenage characters were depicted convincingly but weren’t annoying to an older reader, and the older characters were also well-rounded. The story arc has been well set up for subsequent books. It does end on a cliffhanger, and I’m certainly looking forward to the next instalment! ...more
I have to say I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, given it’s not a genre I’m normally intOriginally posted at A Keyboard and an Open Mind
I have to say I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, given it’s not a genre I’m normally into (a cursory glance at any of my GoodReads shelves gives you magic, fairies, ghosts, etc). This is Elaine Jeremiah’s second novel, following The Inheritance, which she released around this time last year. The main character, Anna, is a writer dealing with the aftermath of a messy break-up. Her best friend convinces her to attend their high-school reunion, and there she runs into Will, who was one of the two bullies who made her life hell during school. Around the same time, Anna’s writing is taken on by a new agent, Peter, who doesn’t just have eyes for her writing. Anna needs to decide who she wants in her life, before things get too out of control.
I was surprised that so much of the novel was actually taken up by Anna’s relationship with Peter, as Will is the only one mentioned in the blurb. Peter was not overly likeable, so I have to admit that the second I could sense their relationship was on the rocks, I was rooting for it to end. I also thought that the beginning of their relationship could have been a little fleshed out as they essentially became an item “off-screen”.
While Will makes a few appearances in the first two thirds of the novel, it’s not really until the final third where he really becomes a major player. I think probably my favourite scene was one in which he and Anna finally have a conversation about their feelings towards each other. Basically, they were in Paris and it was winter so they were all rugged up and they were having what amounted to a warm, fuzzy [for the reader] conversation and so it ticked all my boxes.
I think Elaine Jermemiah’s writing was strongest when there was real conflict between characters, such as when Anna was calling Peter out on his possessiveness of her, or when she was reminding Will that he had made her life hell during school and she had no desire to see him again. These sections felt very real. Sometimes the characters’ internal conflicts felt a little repetitive, as did Anna’s conversations with Melissa about her love life (though Melissa does eventually point out to Anna that she needs to figure her life out on her own; she can’t keep asking Melissa for advice and blaming her when it goes wrong).
Having now written this review, and getting to the point where I make a concluding remark, it occurs to me that probably half the time I read books outside my usual genres, I tend to say “I enjoyed this more than I thought I would” so maybe I should just accept that I actually enjoy these sorts of stories now and then and look forward to Elaine’s next book, too!...more
You’re probably looking at those three measly stars up there and thinking, “What?! How can she rate suOriginally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind
You’re probably looking at those three measly stars up there and thinking, “What?! How can she rate such a classic anything less than 5/5?!?!?!” Well… pretty easily, in fact. I feel like this book was trying to be clever and missing the mark. I felt like it told me way too much rather than showing me. I thought the fictional personal of the author was kind of a jerk. But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.
Most people will know the story of the Princess Bride from the classic 1987 movie starring Cary Elwes and Robin Wright, even if they’ve never read the book. For those that don’t, it goes like this: Buttercup and Westley are in love, but Westley leaves to make his fortune. Unfortunately, he is captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts, and Buttercup resigns herself to never seeing him again. She becomes engaged to Prince Humperdink, who has ulterior motives, including framing the neighbouring country for Buttercup’s murder so he can have himself a war. The book also as an extra layer: supposedly, Goldman is abridging a book his father read him as a child, by the great Florinese satirist, S. Morgenstern . When he gave a copy to his own son to read, he discovered that in fact his own father had chopped out the boring bits and just left in the exciting, adventure stuff. Every now and then Goldman interrupts the narrative to give us a rundown of what he’s chopping out, or commentary on what we’ve just read.
… and that was so fricking annoying. I didn’t like being told that there was description I was missing, or that so-and-so from such-and-such university says this is a perfect example of Morgenstern‘s brilliant satire but he found it boring so out it goes. This would have been a perfectly acceptable fun, adventure story without any of the commentary. That coupled with Goldman’s frankly sexist remarks about his wife (not to mention the sexism that was running through the story itself… at one point Westley tells Buttercup in so many words that she is his property and has to do as she’s told), and his pretty disrespectful remarks about his son, and it felt like he was trying really hard to not endear himself to me. And if he was doing that, why should I care about reading his favourite book in the world?.
What I did like? I really liked the back-stories of the side characters. We got to see Inigo Montoya’s childhood, and his training to become the master swordsman that he is by the time the story takes place. We got to see how Fezzik came to be involved with Vizzini’s group (his obsession with rhymes makes a bit more sense in the book than in the movie, where it just seems to be something he does for the hell of it). Hell, even Prince Humperdinck was well-rounded. A well-rounded manipulative jerkwad, but well-rounded nonetheless. The best scenes were the ones with these characters, as well. To be honest, Westley and Buttercup are pretty bland characters… their only motivation is “twu wuv”, Buttercup’s only talent is her beauty and Westley has the opposite problem of being talented at everything, bordering on Gary Stu territory.
So yes. That’s why I’m giving a supposed perfect, amazing, classic just three stars. I’m sorry....more
This is one of my boyfriend’s favourite books, and he’s been on at me for ages to read it, despite theOriginally posted at A Keyboard and an Open Mind
This is one of my boyfriend’s favourite books, and he’s been on at me for ages to read it, despite the fact that I’m really more of a genre fiction fan and literary fiction really isn’t my thing… well, having said that, on the rare occasion I do read this type of thing, I usually end up enjoying it, but it takes me a while to get into it and I probably won’t start it unless I have a reason (such as a pushy boyfriend). He had throughout various conversations mentioned snippets of the novel though and it sounded entertaining, so when we finally got all his books out of storage, I decided to give it a go (I say that. I wasn’t given any choice.)
Fried Green Tomatoes tells two stories: the first, of a small town called Whistle Stop, in Alabama, through two World Wars and the Depression in between, and the other of Evelyn Couch, an unhappy, middle-aged woman living in the 1980s, whose life begins to turn around when she befriends an elderly lady living in the same nursing home as her mother-in-law.
Particularly when I was first starting the book, my main problem was that not a lot was really happening. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some great characters, but I need a plot to follow as well. Whistle Stop has many endearing characters, but the plot basically served to show off different aspects of this small town, rather than a traditional A to B to C story. The major players, though, such as Idgie Threadgoode, do end up drawing you in the more you read, and Evelyn’s journey to self-acceptance was definitely a highlight of the book.
There were moments when I thought certain plots weren’t going to be resolved, but everything does come together in the end and the reader gets to hear the resolutions of stories even if Evelyn doesn’t. As all the ends were tied up, I found myself actually getting rather teary, which I think is more to do with the quality of the writing than with my actual investment in the story, but the fact that it did evoke that reaction in me is why I bumped it up to four stars; it had really only been giving me a three-star vibe up until then.
Like I said, this isn’t the type of thing I would normally read, but I can see why it has become a classic amongst those who do enjoy this type of writing....more
This book. This book. I have a lot of feelings. At times I’m not sure why I loved it so much, aReview originally posted at A Keyboard and an Open Mind
This book. This book. I have a lot of feelings. At times I’m not sure why I loved it so much, and there were times while I was reading that I wasn’t planning on giving it more than 3 stars. But I was still thinking about it days after finishing it, so it clearly made an impression.
Isola Wilde, named for Oscar Wilde’s sister who died at the age of nine, can see things that aren’t really there. She has six “brother-princes” in the form of two ghosts, a fairy, a Fury and a mermaid (not all her princes are men) and she knows there is a unicorn herd in Vivien’s Wood, the forest near her house. One day she comes across the dead body of a girl in a bird cage, hanging from one of the trees in the woods, and soon after the same dead girl turns up at her window, telling her to turn down the volume of her heart and stay out of the damn woods. This sets off a chain of events that lead to Isola discovering that there is more to her life and to the magical world around her, than she realised.
On the surface, this book is a modern-day gothic fairytale, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s about life and death, love and loss, mothers and daughters, and living with mental illness. There were times when I got confused and wondered if I’d missed something, and there were other times when I felt like nothing was happening and the stakes weren’t as high as I was being told they were (actually there was a decent-sized chunk in the middle where that was the case), but I found myself compelled to read on anyway. It became clearer the more I read that it want really about what was happening on the surface, it was about what that symbolised. Usually I don’t go in for that sort of thing, but it was being symbolised with ghosts and fey and deconstructed fairytales, so how could I not? Everything fell into place in the last 50 or so pages and made far more sense than I had thought it was going to.
The cover, while lovely, is a little misleading; after seeing it, I was surprised that the book was set in the present day, and there were times when I felt the writing style clashed with the setting. But the illustrations in the book are beautiful, and exactly how I imagined the brother-princes to look. There were other things that bugged me, too, like Alejandro’s constant use of the endearment “querida” (he seemed to say it every time he addressed Isola, and I’m complaining about that as someone who swooned over Jesse in Meg Cabot’s Mediator series as a teenager). The character of Isola, and by extension, the book itself, did take a turn for the darker in about the third quarter of the book, which made me a little uncomfortable, but I think that was the point and she did come out of this eventually.
This is the debut novel from Alysse Near, and I certainly look forward to more from her, particularly if they are in the same dark, gothic, magical vein as this one....more
I came across this book while searching out books during the Salem Witch Trials. This one is set 200 years later, and while it sounded interesting, II came across this book while searching out books during the Salem Witch Trials. This one is set 200 years later, and while it sounded interesting, I didn’t click the “Reserve a copy” button on my library’s online catalogue at first. I’m really glad I changed my mind, though, as I ended up really loving it!
Deputy Marshall Archie Lean is called to a grisly murder scene in which a young woman has been laid out in a pentagram with a pitchfork through her throat, a traditional method for killing a “witch”. As his investigation continues, he enlists the help of criminologist, Perceval Grey, and historian, Helen Prescott, the niece of medical examiner, Doctor Stieg. It soon becomes clear that this murder is not an isolated incident, and that several young women around Massachusetts and Maine have been killed by a man with a seeming fixation on the Salem Witch Trials.
Archie Lean is a fun protagonist; he quotes poetry and in his downtime, worries whether he’s going to be able to keep the position of Deputy in the future and buy a house for him, his wife and their two children [well, one child; second is on the way]. The character of Perceval Grey runs the risk of being accused of being a Sherlock Holmes clone, but what I found most interesting about him was his half-Abenaki heritage, and how this affected his relationships with the other characters. As the murder scene is constructed in such a way to make it look like the murder was an Indian, Grey is viewed with suspicion from Lean and the other investigators, even after he assures them he has not lived amongst his father’s people since the age of seven and they have nothing to “worry” about. Lean and Grey do warm to each other, though, and there is a lot of fun banter between them. Banter is my favourite thing.
Helen Prescott, unfortunately, was something of a plot device, and I wish we had been able to learn a bit more about her. She basically served as the expert on the Salem Witch Trials, filling in details the others weren’t aware of, as well as being a love interest for Grey (I’ve started the second book now, which is set a year later. She’s all but disappeared, but there’s a new female character who Grey finds “arresting”).
The plot is quick-paced, and I did sometimes have trouble keeping up with all the characters who played a part in the sequence of events that led up to the murders. There was one point where I was worried that the resolution was going to be rather unsatisfying after such a promising lead-up, but I realised soon after that if the murderer has been caught and there are still 60 pages to go, they probably haven’t actually caught the murderer. ;)
I really enjoyed the setting (period murder mysteries are just so much more fun than contemporary ones) though for something set in America, it did feel very Victorian. I mean, I really don’t know how much of a difference there would really be, but that did surprise me a little.
As I said above, I’m already onto the sequel, “A Study in Revenge” and so far it is promising to be good fun, too (though I was looking ahead to see how many pages it has and accidentally read the last few lines and I think we have a cliffhanger on our hands!). Kieran Shields is definitely an author to keep an eye on!...more
Okay, a confession: I’m not really a poetry person. I’m all right if it rhymes, and I can even sort of get behind it if I can register some sort of meOkay, a confession: I’m not really a poetry person. I’m all right if it rhymes, and I can even sort of get behind it if I can register some sort of meter. But free verse just confuses me; I just sit there wondering why the prose has so many line breaks. (Okay, I can appreciate it a bit more than that sentence implies, but I would still rather just read it in a series of paragraphs.) So when I realised Wicked Girls was an entire novel written in verse, I wasn’t immediately sure I would continue reading it. But it kinda grew on me.
Wicked Girls is the first in a series of books centred around the Salem Witch Trials that I’m probably going to read. I just finished a production of The Crucible a couple of weeks ago, and now I’m kinda hooked on that time and place in history (and totally not ready to let go of the production yet, either, if I’m honest). Hemphill tell the story of the trials from the points-of-view of three of the “afflicted” girls who testified against the “witches”: Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott and Ann Putnam Jr. Mercy and Margaret are both 17, while Ann Putnam is only 12. All three discover that in their restrictive, Puritan world, being able to point out who is doing the Devil’s work gives these otherwise ignored girls a real taste of power and a chance to right wrongs they feel have been done in the town.
The thing that drew me into this book was the group dynamics. The main group of girls create a clique; others are let in or thrown out, basically on their whims. Poor little Abigail, who is presented by Hemphill as someone who is very keen to help but who maybe talks a bit too much, is literally treated like a dog by Ann (being told to “sit” and “stay”) but she complies because it is a better option than being treated like she doesn’t exist. (Note: I played Abigail in the aforementioned production, so I have a bit of an attachment to her in any incarnation).
As I said earlier, I’m not a poetry person, but the verse format did lend itself to tinging the entire story with an underlying sadness. Mercy longs to avenge her parents, who were killed in the French-Indian wars. Margaret is engaged to Isaac Farrar, but convinced he has eyes for Mercy, and is consumed by the resulting jealousy. Ann wants to please her mother and father, but most of all just wants Mercy to be her friend. Ann, who positions herself as the queen bee of the group, is the last one to continue testifying in the trials. The others gradually realise their mistakes, and after watching innocent people hanged, no longer wish to go on with their accusations. Ann, being younger, does not fully comprehend the things their actions are causing, and doesn’t understand when her friends (or the closest things she has to friends) abandon her. Even though she acts like a spoiled brat for most of the book, I still felt just as sorry for her by the end.
As far as I could tell from what I know of the Witch Trials (I’m still learning!), the events described were all historically accurate,though sometimes embellished. Stephanie Hemphill is also the author of Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath. I may not be a huge fan of poetry, but I take my hat off to anyone who can take real people and reveal their lives in this format....more
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Now that that’s out of the way, I want to say upfront, the reason that this book doesn’t get five stars from me is not necessarily that I don’t think it deserves it, but simply because there are certain aspects of it that are quite popular in this genre and no doubt appeal to a lot of people, but just never quite work for me. I’ll go more into that as this review goes on.
Bound is set in the kingdom of Darmid, where magic is banned, and magic hunters will kill anyone who exhibits magical ability without a second thought. Their neighbours over the mountains use magic quite happily, and are at home with the company of other species such as dragons, griffons and merfolk, and that just makes those from Darmid more suspicious of them. When Rowan, a young woman from Darmid with a love of fairytales and a life-long plague of awful headaches, unintentionally saves the life of Aren, one of her country’s biggest enemies, everything she’s ever known is called into question and she begins to learn that there’s much more to her than she realises.
I really enjoyed the way Kate Sparkes turned some well-used fantasy tropes on their heads, particularly regarding her female characters. They were not required to be pure, medieval maidens (even strong ones), and the fact that Rowan had not yet slept with the man she was betrothed to was considered even a little odd.
Aren was a a rather typical YA hero, and to be honest, I was far more interested in Rowan’s chapters than his (the novel is written in first person split narrative). However, this is one of the aspects I mentioned earlier that I know is really popular in YA fiction, and I know the YA crowd will probably really love him. He’s just not my type. I felt his change of heart and subsequent feelings for Rowan developed a little quickly, but it’s a bit of a catch-22, since without that, there would be no plot. I did, however, enjoy learning about Aren’s magic, and how magic works in his kingdom. Kate has clearly done a lot of work on her world-building.
Bound ends with a nice set-up for Book 2. There is still plenty that Rowan needs to learn, plenty of danger still lurking, and some interesting new characters we don’t know too much about. Kate is certainly a talented writer and I look forward to reading more!...more