Well I finally found a series that hooked me with the first book! I’ve been on the lookout for a month and keep coming up short. For the first time, I am actually interested enough to want to read the second book in a series. In fact I’ll be starting it (because its FREE on Kindle Unlimited!!!) immediately after this post.
Two worlds exist; One with humans, and one with magic-capable Sylphs. The Fearsome Battle Sylphs live within Kingdoms or “Colonies,” and serve their single Queen without question, but most live their lives without actual contact with their queen, and some yearn for a woman of their own. Humans have figured out how to rip a doorway between the realms, and politically powerful men do so to steal these Battle Sylphs, tricking them into a bonded slavery of which there can be no escape. All the human must do is trick the Sylph through the doorway with the lure of a naked young woman, whom the Sylph comes to bond with, then the human man kills the woman and steals the bond for himself, enslaving the Sylph for his own purposes. Now it’s the Prince’s turn to secure a Battle Sylph for himself.
Fleeing an arranged marriage, Solie finds herself kidnapped off the streets by the Prince’s men, to be used as the bait for his own Battle Sylph. Too bad the Prince he chose a victim who fights back. Instead of being scarified, Solie ends up with a Battle Sylph all her own. The first woman ever to do so. Oh, and the Monarchy is not happy. Now Solie and her Sylph are on the run, fleeing for their lives. But soon Solie sees that she can make a difference in the Sylph’s slavery in her world, and she and her Sylph must decide where and when to make a stand.
I really, really enjoyed this book. Let me preface this by saying it is not the most well-written book ever. There are some typos and grammatical mistakes. These issues seem to stem from slightly poor editing rather than an untalented author. I found the author to be quite skilled at world building and story-telling. Her weakness is in characterization, as many of her characters are flat and one-dimensional.
I liked the world, and the cast of characters a lot. I was extremely hooked into the plot and couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I don’t remember any parts where I was bored. I really, really loved the concept of a male species who revere women. It was a really nice change from the typical “alpha in charge” story lines. I also really enjoyed the multiple POVs, as we get to see the inside of the heroes, the Sylphs, and many of the villains. The scenes from the Sylph’s POVs were the most interesting. There is a lot of interesting moral dilemmas regarding slavery, which I thought added a great darker element to the relationships between everyone. I do have to say that I am not a fan of the two main characters, however. They are extremely immature. There is A LOT of whining, crying, storming off, crying, and crying. But they are both supposed to be basically teenagers, so it actually does read as believable. Luckily we get the POVs from many other characters, so I wasn’t driven mad by the immature bits. Be warned that many characters come across as petulant. But even though I found many of them to be annoying or useless, I still just really liked the story. Despite its flaws, this story captivated me and I cannot wait to read the next one. The world that L.J. McDonald created is just so fascinating.
Beware the world is a bit dark as there is murder of innocents and slavery. There are sex scenes, but this is more a “Fantasy with romance” than a “Romance fantasy.” I highly recommend giving it a chance, especially since it is free on KindleUnlimited. Give it 5 chapters to hook ya, I really think you’ll find yourself enjoying it as I did!