by Deb E. Howell
genre – Epic Fantasy with a little Wild West and steampunk flavors
Publication Date: January 31, 2013 – TODAY!!
This is an epic fantasy adventure and is a tiny bit reminiscent of an Eddings book or something similar. Llew is a healer, but knows nothing of her people, history or abilities. She has to get out of town fast when she heals herself in public and the townsfolk come after the “witch”. She hooks up with a girl and her guards who are going across the countryside to meet her new arranged husband.
Llew has been hiding in plain sight as a boy since her father disappeared when she was 11. She hasn’t had an easy time of things, and even though she makes friends in her new travel companions, things aren’t that easy. Her abilities are a double-edged sword, sure she can heal, but she pulls the life force from living things and can kill people, animals and plants using her healing powers. Because she is so dangerous to living things, her kind is not popular in many countries and she will either be killed, studied or sent to a breeding program to make more like her. Not good options. Llew starts to find out who and what she is, a bit of a coming of age and taking responsibility for ones actions – I always love stories like that!
Jonas is also gifted, but with strength and speed and is the mortal enemy of the healers. So guess what happens 🙂
Llew is a strong heroine I loved reading about. She is pragmatic, women aren’t treated very well but she has learned some tricks and stands up for herself physically and verbally. I wanted to cheer her on a few times when she stood up for herself. I was also embarrassed for her a time or two when she couldn’t control her mouth. Double edged sword. It is funny, I was reminded of the fairy tale Ring of Consequences while reading this story, because the ring grants wishes, but you never knew what the result of the wish would be: something good and something bad, that dang double edged sword again!
This story does have a little romance in it, but it is pretty PG13 and stays fairly clean even though there are definitely adult “situations”. There is a lot of death, some curse words and they have to deal with rape. Nothing violently written, and it was “well done” but it was still a bummer and the characters struggle with it – as they should.
Ok, so this is an epic fantasy, and there are three books planned for the series and I was super worried it would end with them in the exact middle of a quest on the trail or something, and while there is more story to tell, it was ok. Shew! It wasn’t one big book cut into three parts (cough, LOTR cough). But I want the next book NOW! There are some things, and some decisions, and what will happen and some what about that guy questions I would really like to get some answers to. So this is a rainbow day (happy yet sad) I am happy to have read this early, but I read it early and now have longer to wait! My life is so tough. 🙂 I give this book 4.5 stars glowing stars.
Cover time – I usually don’t complain about covers, but this one gives me the willies. They look like video game zombies or something! It imparts the wild west flavor…but it doesn’t scream fantasy to me. Just my humble opinion.