I received this book from the author in exchange of an honest review.
*Beware! Few spoilers may be given in a mild dose
Kristen Taber has created a fabulous take on the idea of a lost princess returning home. The world building in this book absolutely fantastic. I felt consumed by the world and every turn of the page I imagined each aspect: the dranyx, the creepers, the blue birds, the phantmouse and so forth. Just outstanding world building. The characters were even awesome as well. This was a predictable, but not predictable story. Even though I did enjoy it a lot, I couldn't thoroughly give it a 5 stars. I gave it a 4.5 star rating simply because some parts of the story bored me with all the details and walking they did. As crucial as it was for the story I did have my moments of wanting to skip through the pages.
Meaghan was a fearless young lady. She had her moments where she was frightened and scared, but who wouldn't. I mean not only did she see her parents die and see these strange red eyed men (Mardroch
), but she finds out those were not her parents, who her parents really are, who she is and that she's from a totally different planet. Considering everything, she definitely handled herself very well. Even though she couldn't control her power she still rose to the occasion to be a ruler.
Nick is flipping awesome. Battling his feelings for Meaghan while trying to save his Kingdom is a hard thing to do, but seeing how he handled everything made him strong. He definitely had his weak points where he fought his feelings and doubted his future as Meaghan's Guardian, but he stayed true and in the end gained two amazing things. What happened to Nick when he was younger killed me. Seeing what happened to that man and knowing who that man was -- purely unforgivable of Goran to do it.
The connection that transpired between Nick and Meaghan was outstanding. I never would have thought it would happen. I mean how it happened and why it happened was crazy and the fact that Vivian knew and prophesied it was more of a shocker.
What Vivian and James did for Meaghan was outstanding. Knowing they would die and still staying on Earth for her and protecting her was pure love. What Vivian knew would happen for Meaghan was totally heartwarming and truly a motherly thing.
I don't know if it's just me, but Cal seems like a very suspicious man. I understand that he's a guide, but he knows to much about Aldin and Meaghan to be trusted. I feel like he's working for Goran. I'm making assumptions, but he's too set on keeping her alive and helping Aldin for some strange reason. He's just a very strange man to me.
The young boy, Aldin, has such an amazing power and to find out his brother Caide has the same power -- both Spellmasters is incredible. Hopefully they work together with Meaghan to defeat Goran and his Mardroch army.
Angus…just his name alone sounds disgusting. How could he do what he did?! Why betray your people? I wish he would have died. And this King Goran just brings death every where he goes. Maybe he should die too. Just saying. I hope to see more of him in the next book.
Even though this is not a really gruesome book, when it did come to those moments of death and fighting the blood and gory details were there. It made me flinch and even want to close my eyes as I read on because it was just a bit intense and realistic. It sounds nasty, but it was a perfect asset to keep a reader, like myself, wanting more and on my toes.
This was a fantastic start to a YA Fantasy series. I'm totally engrossed and excited to see what happens next for Nick and Meaghan.