Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.
This book came highly recommended by Dolly from Just Talking Books. When she told it was available on NetGalley again, I jumped at the chance to review it. There are a few things I will mention. I went into this book not noticing the page count. It has been a long time since I read a 900+ page book. I’ve listened to a few, but it has been a while since I read a book that long. It isn’t that I don’t like reading long books, it is just that the PNR/UF books that I normally read are closer to 300-500 pages long. All that being said, the page count in this book wasn’t a problem. It did take me longer to read than most, but I was fully engrossed in the story the entire time.
This is the story of Eryn who is a bit different from everyone else. She lives in a village where she hides her hair color magically as she is the only non-blonde person there besides her father. She also has magic which is not known to the town. That is until she is knocked out and her mind quits applying the magic to her hair color. She is then turned over to the king and the Order of Magicians where she is bound in gold to suppress her magic.
The Order and the kingdom have not seen a female magician in over 300 years. They also haven’t seen anyone with a hair color other than blonde in that amount of time. They are amazed at her lack of training, but also at her sheer power. She is the third strongest magician in the land, but knows nothing about it outside of healing, which they know nothing of. Her father is from a different kingdom and taught her different uses for her magic, but he also taught her to be very wary of the the Order and using magic for defense and battle. The one time she did, it went really bad for her, so when the Order forces her to use her to learn to fight, she is very reluctant.
It was fun to watch what can happen when you take a reluctant captive with a lot of brains and ingenuity and see what they can teach themselves. Eryn gets herself in quite the amount of trouble as she tries to escape and outsmart the elder members of the order. But it is also great as she becomes friends with them as they learn to work together. Eryn is a very fiery person. She is also very loyal to her trade as a healer and to the people she believes she needs to help. She has little respect for authority and doesn’t have a problem proving that fact to anyone.
The romance in this book is very much a slow build. Enric is intrigued with Eryn from the beginning. Eryn, not so much. Which, Eryn didn’t like the Order from the prejudice her father left her with about it and about fighting with magic. Add that to the fact that Enric had to knock her out at their first meeting because she was panicking and fighting back. Needless to say, their first meeting wasn’t a great one. Then they imprisoned her and forced her to learn to fight against her will. With Enric being the second in command of the Order, she saw all of this as a slight on him. It took him a long while to build the trust to romance her.
This story has great characters. There is her original combat trainer, Orrin, and his son Vern. I really loved them. I loved that as much as Orrin was a warrior, he loved his son, even though his son was so not a warrior. There is also Junar, a seamstress in town that befriends Eryn. The character I disliked the most was the king. He was a manipulative bastard. There was another character that I really disliked, but I’ll keep him to myself for now. There are many other great characters, but I won’t list them all. Just know that this story is full of wonderful characters.
The thing that is very different for me with this story, there is no epic battle, no epic mystery to solve. That didn’t mean I was glued to the pages. I’m very much used to stories like Kate Daniels or Gin Blanco running from one catastrophe to another without a chance to breathe. The stories are very fast paced. That was not the case here. I wouldn’t say that the story was slow, nor was it fast. It was just a pleasant stroll through the life of Eryn and Enric. There is the question about why haven’t there been any women magicians in 300+ years and why all the same hair color. These questions are answered in this story. I’m very interested in seeing where the story goes from here.
“Yes, Orrin,” she hiss. “I do understand you. I am neither deaf nor stupid.”
He straightened again. “Good. And it is customary to address a high ranking magician using the title of Lord.”
She smiled acidly. “Is it now? Thank you so much for enlightening me as to this charming little custom, Orrin.”
|The Order Series|