Elenariel's Reviews > Wicked Enchantment

Wicked Enchantment by Anya Bast
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's review
Jan 13, 12

bookshelves: fae, magic, myths-and-legends
Read on January 10, 2012

As in the short story that introduces this series, if we look at the way they dress and behave, the characters - magical creatures whose origins date back to the mists of time - would seem just your ordinary human beings of our times.
It would not be a problem, if they were integrated into modern society, or we were told, at least once, how they have adapted over the centuries but it is not so: they live isolated, imprisoned in a medieval town in which the nobles, however, go shopping in haute couture boutiques that sell the most quoted designer of the moment clothing while the ordinary fae populace could be forced into prostitution or begging due to poverty.
There is a sort of restricted apocalyptic group, complete with studs and hounds "from hell" and responsible for collecting dead fae' souls, that clashes with the nobles' polished limousines; the same faery-afterlife-place existence is somewhat forced, while it remains unclear why the reapers of souls should hide this sort of their second job.
Yes, because instead of showing off their powers to boast, use them to instruct beginners (and readers with them, at least on the differeces between those of a creature and those of another) or use them in case of need, Seele and Unseelie go to the grocery, they cook, they're waiters, shop assistants, hairdressers... They work! And if they have to fight, they fight by sword.
So maybe it's better not to comment the spell that, originated outside the protective magical barrier, is materialized through a cellphone...

And maybe it's better not to think about why no one ever noticed Gabriel coming and going at his pleasure between the two courts, or how Aislinn, that even works as voluntary in the local center for poors and homeless, after explaining she does not like to spend much money in too expensive clothes because of the injustices related to differences in social class, instantly melts at receiving that same too expensive dress...
“Maybe I will take a taste of you before I go, Aislinn,” he murmured. “Just the flavor of you to keep on the back of my tongue. Something I can take back to the Black Tower with me. Something I can keep for a while and savor in my memories.” All her anger left her in a whoosh, along with her words and her ability to think. The way he looked at her, the intensity of his words, the low voice in which he uttered them—all of it combined to produce the most arousing, romantic thing that a man had ever said to her.

What's so romantic?
There's a bit of inconsistency also among Sweet Enchantment (Dark Magick 0.5) where Ronan has often repeated how the Black Tower was a dangerous place and not suitable for Bella (and Bella said she wanted to travel, and that she wouldn't mind living in Boundary Lands), and this Wicked Enchantment, in which, instead, we find that they are at ease right at the Unseelie court, about which Gabriel emphasizes how the rumors of it being dangerous to be false.

Flat narrative and characters.
The narrative is not particularly engaging, lacks freshness and irony, it's often repetitive, and even in a short distance between paragraphs you can find the exact same descriptions, terms and / or adjective for a scene, an action, a detail; the first half of the book's rather slow, a little action and a minimum of surprises and suspense come forward from the moment the spotlight is moved towards the Black Tower, however, there are no atmosphere variations with different scenes; there's no irony, and the very few funny or (supposed to be) provocative exchanges - that might give a little liveliness to the rythm - are not so bright.
Making love, battles, reunions, escapings, scheming: every passage convey the same picture, the reader remains a mere observer, detached, not reached by fear, excitement, restlessness, adrenaline...
At some point i even found myself skipping sex scenes: they were certainly out of place and starting to be boring - i couldn't stand any more Aislinn blabbing about her lack of underwear (why? They found everything else in that dead-fae house!), her diamond-like nipples and pouting clit. My hackles rise only remembering how many times she said those words!

Despite the triple and high-sounding names - and each one too complicated to remember - the characters are stereotypical and without any particular detail - neither physical or psychological - to make them unique, starting with the heroine - whose emotional insecurity is excessively prolonged, so as to make you loose the desire to wish her a HEA - to the exalted druid-priest with omnipotence delusions.

In short, there is so much material, there are many ideas, but they're not articulated, everything is left rather superficial and confused.
At least the discovery of two of the four elements necessary to break the magical barrier bodes well for the future, let's hope the author will develop next books better.

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01/10/2012 page 45
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