Series: Age of Legends #1
Genre: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by HarperCollins (4.8.2014)
eARC, 416 pages
In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.
Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.
Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.
I love Kelley’s Darkest Powers series, and I really enjoyed her Adult UF books featuring Elena Michaels. I thought for sure I’d love this one, since it sounded intriguing and I’ve liked her stories in the past. I did enjoy it, but I was disappointed somehow. It was good, but…forgettable. Which is sad, because the story line was unique. The writing didn’t wow me, though.
What I did really love was that Ashyn and Moria’s companions were animals! I love any story where a main character is an animal. My favorite was Daigo, a ‘Wildcat of the Immortals.’ Of course I’m going to love him, he’s feline!! *winks* And because Daigo was her companion, Moria was my favorite sister by default.
To tell you the truth, the characters didn’t really stand out other than that. Which is very strange for an Armstrong novel, because Elena and Chloe were both full of awesome (if you’ve read any of her past books, you know what I mean!). Also, because it was in third person POV, it felt a bit stiff. I think this is mainly what caused the disconnect for me. I can relate much better when it’s first person and I can get inside the MC’s head!
I wasn’t really invested in the romance, either, but I did like Gavril. He was stoic, but steady, and he made a great rock for Moria. I like that their relationship started out as tolerating and evolved into caring! On the other hand, I didn’t care about Ashyn and Ronan’s relationship much at all.
While the characters and prose didn’t impress me much, the world did. Aside from the animal companions, the world was one of the best parts. Armstrong sure can paint a vivid picture! And I love how magical her stories are – shadow stalkers, death worms, and thunder hawks, oh my!!
This is one of those books where you can lose yourself for a while as you’re reading, and you enjoy it; but when it’s over you move on and it gets lost in the recesses of your mind. It may not have stuck with me, but I am curious to see how the series continues!
Writing style: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5