Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Books of Oreyn series
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
“After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend Ilven kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven’s death has called out of the sea a dangerous wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg’s caste system, and the whole city along with it.”
I have been wanting to read this book for some time. I read Hellisen’s Beastkeeper and loved it and immediately looked for other books by her. There was a lot I liked about this story; the world, the characters, and the interesting writing style which is lyrical and yet somehow passive and a bit ambiguous.
This is an interesting world with a heroine that has a somewhat typical historical issue; she is slated for an arranged marriage that she wants to escape. I loved the way magic was handled and found Felicita, Jannik and Dash to be intriguing characters; although I would have liked to get to know them all a bit better.
While the world is interesting, in the end I kept feeling like not much had happened and was left wondering what the point was. The story is just written in a way that is kind of passive yet still reads as being beautiful and magical. It’s a unique writing style but doesn’t come across as very urgent.
Overall this was a quick read and I enjoyed it. However, I am still absorbing some of the story I think and will have to determine at a later date whether or not I will continue the series and continue reading Hellisen as an author. I keep finding myself thinking about the story but also find myself thinking that the writing was a bit simplistic for me and could have been filled out more.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– Mount TBR Reading Challenge
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
– Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
– Paranormal Reading Challenge
– YA Reading Challenge