Reading level: Young Adult
eARC: 293 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Release date: March 21, 2013
Series: Fraction #1
Source: Provided by author for review
Reviewed by: Lili
Learn More: Goodreads
Wind tunnels, torrential rains and earthquakes tear apart Casden. The cause of the world’s imbalance is unknown, but the mounting occurrences suggest there’s little time before life ceases to exist.
Rydan Gale and Akara Nazreth are the only humans with the ability to wield magic. The tattoo on their necks and the discovery of an ancient book, dictate they are the key to the world’s survival.
But the greatest obstacle for saving mankind isn’t the bizarre creatures, extreme betrayals and magic-fearing men hunting them.
It’s that Akara doesn’t believe the world is worth saving.
When Kelly first sent this review pitch to Tynga, I was very excited to snatch this book up for myself. It sounded like a really unique debut novel, and I’m happy to report that my initial hunch was correct. Lynn’s debut was both creative and well written. She introduced us to two characters that I very much enjoyed. And the fact that this book was a light, quick read will make it the type of book that you can read just about anywhere.
In my opinion, the strongest point of Lynn’s debut is her characterization. To put it simply, I adore both Rydan and Akara for different reasons. Though they fight for two different kingdoms in war, they are the last two people on the planet that possess magic, thus they are inexplicably connected. When Rydan’s people win the war, the good king decides that one of the requirements for surrender is putting the enemies sorceress to death so that only he can control the only remaining sorcerer in the world. But Rydan being both the kind and curious individual that he is saves Akara at the last moment, making himself a fugitive in the process. Together, they must discover the truth of their ancestry and save the world. There’s only one problem…Akara is firmly set in the belief that the world is not worth saving.
Clearly, Rydan and Akara’s characters differentiate greatly. Rydan’s kingdom raised him as if he were a prince. He was taught properly from a teacher and all of the girls fawned over him. In truth, he is the ultimate optimist, though he is slightly naïve. Than there is Akara. Her kingdom drugged her often and abused her, only being kind when they needed her powers for war. But due to her lack of proper teaching, she never learned how to properly wield her powers. Instead she just pointed and released her magic and the only thing she was good at was causing destruction while Rydan could not only do that ten times better, but he could heal people too. When her people lost the war, Akara almost sang in relief because her death meant the end of her suffering. Unlike Rydan, she’s arguably the ultimate pessimist. My one pet peeve with Akara is her insistence on her low worth. As the book progresses it becomes apparent that she simply is a negative person because of the abuse she endured for yours, but she thought so little of herself. When that was shown in direct contrast to Rydan’s constant positivity, it was hard to not be slightly frustrated. I just wish that, at times, Akara’s pity parties could be toned down.
I also enjoyed how this book makes you think. Are people who kill others worth saving? What if not saving them means wiping out humanity and allowing the planet to die? Are people who have hurt you specifically worth saving? It truly makes you question humanity and the negative human tendencies that war can bring about. Anything that makes you step back and question aspects of your life is a positive in my book.
I also have to admit that this novel is a quick read, though it drags in the middle. The plot progression and timing is not Lynn’s strong point, though it certainly could be worse. She easily held my attention with her creativity and both the journey that Rydan and Akara take to save the world combined with the journey to discover their ancestry and purpose of their magic was astounding to me. The creativity was definitely there and kept me reading, but the pacing was slow at times. The beginning and the end of the novel were easier to get through than parts of the middle because of this, but such a thing was not a huge hindrance because the story was so fascinating.
All in all, this was a solid debut. It impressed me though it did not blow me away. I can’t wait to see what happens next with Rydan and Akara because they are two characters that are easy to adore. This book is great for fantasy readers looking for a quick read.