Michele (Reading Lark/CanadianTwiMom)'s Reviews > Starling

Starling by Lesley Livingston
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My review can also be found on Reading Lark: http://readinglark.blogspot.ca/2012/0...

Oh how I missed being in Lesley Livingston's awesome fictional universe!! I absolutely loved her debut trilogy, Wondrous Strange, and specifically the Fennrys Wolf. So, you can imagine how excited I was when we learned who was going to be part of her new trilogy -- you guessed it -- our beloved FENNRYS!!

While it's not imperative to be familiar with the Wondrous Strange world before cracking open Starling, I will say that the events in those books do enhance this new story perfectly, and not to mention, they are just a great read in itself and I would encourage anyone who loves adventure, romance and mischievous faeries to pick them up.

Starling is the first book in what is promising to be another awesome trilogy and quite literally opens with a bang when a violent storm rolls in and an incredibly old oak tree comes crashing into the new gym at Gosforth Academy...accompanied by a legion of freakish demon things and -- guess who -- Fennrys!! His entrance, not surprisingly, catches the attention of everyone at the practice...most notably Mason's. And little did our protagonist, Mason Starling, anticipate that her expert fencing skills would be required in a very realistic way.

Perhaps my most favourite aspect of this new book was that I loved getting to know the REAL Fennrys Wolf. If you have read the Wondrous Strange books, you will remember that Fenn was a secondary character who made some questionable choices that came to fruition in the last book of the trilogy AND we thought we saw the last of him as he rode off with the Valkyrie, Olrun. But oh no...here he is again, in the flesh...quite literally. (You'll understand my meaning when you read that opening scene in Starling!)

I knew there was so much more to Fennrys than what little we knew of him before. And now, having no recollection of how he ended up in that gym on that fateful night, Fenn almost gets a 'do-over' -- to atone for his previous mistakes...if he could just remember them. And as it turns out Fennrys, is a great hero. As some of his memories slowly began to resurface, so did his amazing qualities come to light. I knew, deep down, he was a good-guy. He's complex in that he can be gentle (especially where Mason is concerned) but also fiercely savage when fighting for his (and her) life!

Mason Starling is another great heroine I enjoyed reading about. She does come from a very privileged family so I wasn't sure about her relatability at first, but it never defined who she really was. Mason is typical in many ways -- in that she has a crush on the hottest guy at school, she's studious, fully devoted to her fencing and is kind at heart. She has her vulnerabilities too...including a severe case of claustrophobia thanks to an unfortunate incident that occurred when she was a child. She has confidence when she is reminded of it. Mason is totally committed to her passion for fencing with ambitions to make the Nationals team...and she's well on her way. It's just that she never dreamed that her expert skills would come in handy in real life and death situations.

As much as Mason, at one time, had 'the hots' for Calum, it was Fennrys -- the enigmatic and mysterious stranger -- who quickly stole her heart. Although I did appreciate that it wasn't an insta-love situation...she was wary of Fenn at first and they slowly got to know each other. I loved how Fennrys didn't want to mess up his relationship with her and attempted to take things slow because he truly didn't know what he was getting her involved in. However, her life was already in danger and her destiny predetermined. Mason also reminded Fennrys of someone he had, frustratingly, forgotten...but, once again, those of us who have read the Wondrous Strange books know all too well who he was remembering.

The complimentary characters were developed just enough for their purposes in this installment but we were left wondering who had truly good motivations or bad or who was somewhere in between and I know we will get to know them more in the following books.

I loved how Lesley told her story on the foundation of the Norse mythology of Ragnarok (as well as a little bit of Greek and Egyptian lore, too). I found myself 'Wiki'ing' all about it and it's fascinating. The pace of the story was perfect with just enough action and intensity tempered with some lovely romantic scenes. And I will have to warn you that there is quite a hefty cliffhanger at the end...and one that I didn't see coming...ensuring that I'll be reading the next book...which I would have done anyway!

Thanks to Harper Teen for kindly providing an arc!

Note: Originally Read July 14-21, 2012. Loved it more the second time around!
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Reading Progress

07/14/2012 page 43
12.0% "FENNRYS!!!!!!!! :D"
07/19/2012 page 210
60.0% "Totally lovin' this book so far!"
09/29/2013 marked as: currently-reading
09/29/2013 marked as: read
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