Book Blurb: From the day Ella witnesses an enchanter using his talents to save her brother’s life, she knows what she wants to be. But the elite Academy of Enchanters expects tuition fees and knowledge. Determined, Ella sells flowers and studies every book she can. Meanwhile her brother, Miro, dreams of becoming one of the world’s finest swordsmen, wielding his nation’s powerful enchanted weapons in defense of his homeland.
A dark force rises in the east, conquering all in its path, and Miro leaves for the front. When the void Miro left is filled by Killian, a charming stranger from another land, Ella finds herself in love. But Killian has a secret, and Ella’s actions will determine the fate of her brother, her homeland, and the world.
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Rating: Four Stars – would recommend
Similar Authors: Brent Weeks, Kristen Britain
Review: This is your typical orphan with secretly important parents fantasy novel. You watch two siblings (possibly twins) grow from adolescence to young adulthood with the emphasis on the sister for the first half of the book but later more emphasis on the brother. I really enjoyed the descriptions and the world building. I liked the intrigue and the political structure of the world. The magic system is interesting in that the magic requires a specific substance to work, and of course that substance is at the core of the action in this book (the spice must flow).
The sister, Ella, is a solid character. She is strong-willed and loyal to her friends, but she’s also the most talented in her class. She makes some big mistakes in the book, but she owns them pretty well. At points, it seems like she’s been written so that there is nothing she can’t do. She falls into the “I don’t know how beautiful I am” category, which I don’t particularly enjoy in my heroines. I loved how dedicated she was to learning and how hard she was willing to work to get an education. The brother, on the other hand, is your archetype stoic warrior. I’m hoping his character will get more fleshed out in the next book.
The action and side characters are engaging, and I found this to be a quick read. The plot was creative, but I don’t want to give away any of it so I won’t. There are twists and turns and the side characters may surprise you. I did enjoy the different cultures in this book. It reminded me a bit of Jennifer Roberson’s Cheysuli Omnibus series in that respect. There were a number of typos, which was unfortunate, but not the end of the world.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an entertaining fantasy novel with a strong main female character.
Amazon link: http://amzn.com/B00HQLQYRY