This Young Adult fantasy series has a fare share of reprints and reviews. But I don’t have all praise for this book. In fact, my review on this book is a mixed. But one thing is sure. The story makes you feel smart for having figured things out before they are revealed.
The story is fast-paced. It is alright to stumble and feel lost as we discover the world of magic alongside Naomi, the lead.
About the Story
This story is about a young farmgirl, Naomi that doesn’t know her origins. By a chance of fate, or shall we say prophecy, she has her first clue. One impulsive action leads to another and she is out on a wild ride. Zander, her young friend is roped in on the events and sets out on a path of his own. Along the way, there are blood leaching shape-shifters, a love interest, friends, power hungry lords and many young women to save and nurse, a prince and a feeling that ‘there is something more going on’.
Side Note: We see the new world as Naomi sees it; so remember that some places may feel empty while others might be unnecessarily overflowing. It’s how she sees it.
There are many characters in this story. Some good, some bad while others bordering on a thin line between both. There is Naomi and Zander to start with. Then come, Reynolds and Taren who hold their own. Finally, some friends and enemy who weave in and out to carry the story forward.
The absolute quiz in the whole book is the villain. There is little on him, or who he is. What we know: he has powerful underlings like Harrow and the King working for him. Even then, the said underlings are shrouded in mystery until the final battle is overhead and unavoidable.
She wasn’t my favorite character despite being the protagonist. Her character seemingly has no development even though her story did. The best things that ever happened in her story was being rescued by Reynolds and Taren joining her for escape.
For me, Zander’s story was more gripping than Naomi’s at every turn. He meets and learns about shape-shifters through Audra’s deception. From being a stammering boy, he grows to be a brave rescuer of Silexia, Ymber and Bryant.
Silexa has a much bigger role in the scene than portrayed with how she supports everyone until the end and sees her sister until death.
He was there in the beginning of the story and came back in the middle with angst and darkness. He knew what had happened from the get go but had his own workings to follow. He is the sole complicating factor in every plot of the story. He did good and he did bad. I am most interested in this character for the next novel.
Even though Reynolds Fairborn is a love interest to Naomi, he only comes into the picture for one purpose, as her protector. Everything he does is motivated and focused on that one goal. There was the matter of portraying him as a developed character instead of a developing one. Only in the end, do we see some vulnerability and opening but the story had come to an end by then.
There were also times when his dangerous journey after escape should have been portrayed but wasn’t. That became one of the lacking keys in this story.
Kudos to Browneyes (a key to Reynold’s release), Audra (the key to Zander’s development), Bryant (a bridge between Zander and Silexia), Landon, Micah and Katia (a supporting hand), Silexa, Ymber and Ferra (their brave sisterhood), Maddox and his brothers (for helping the princesses) and finally, Lyett, Januses and Malindra (magical guides).
Much like other readers, I struggled to hold on to the story in the beginning but as things progressed with the main character Naomi, so did the story. If the story telling style wanted us to feel like we were on a path of gradual discovery, it succeeded.
All in all, the book failed to make my heart race but was interesting enough with it’s high and low moments to keep me going until the end.
P.S: Vivatera is the name of the stone that is linked to Naomi is some ways.