Series: Clash of Kingdoms #1
Genre: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Harcourt Children's Books (12.27.2016)
ARC, 400 pages
Source: ARC tour
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.
However, it’s not so simple.
The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.
Honestly this review was hard for me to write because it’s been THREE months since I read it. I remember almost nothing. I kinda wish I had just DNFed it, because between forcing myself through a book that was terrible and the obligation I felt to continue (this was an ARC tour book so I felt like I had to finish), this book was directly responsible for the horrible reading slump that I’ve been in since LAST NOVEMBER. Yes. I finished this book in the first week of November and until a couple of days ago, I hadn’t physically read and finished a single full sized book. THREE. MONTH. READING SLUMP. That is positively abysmal for me. I’ve been in reading slumps before but this is by far the worst. I did read two very short books in December – Alice in Wonderland (which I sadly did not like), and Saga vol. 6 which isn’t even a novel. I listened to both Illuminae and Gemina on audio in December (AMAZING. SO SO AMAZING.) but they were re-reads and that still doesn’t change the fact that I haven’t ACTUALLY, PHYSICALLY READ a true novel since I finished this awful thing.
Anyway, on to the review. I’ve seen a lot of people raving about this book, so it’s quite possible you will love it too. (Also let me weep in a corner because the cover is SO. BEAUTIFUL. WHY do gorgeous covers have to have horrid stories inside?! That should be false advertising!!) I did like certain concepts, but sadly that’s where my enjoyment stopped. This book is horribly generic for a high fantasy. HORRIBLY. It felt like every other generic HF I’ve picked up that everyone loved (*coughs* Red Queen, Ruined, and Snow Like Ashes *cough cough*). I felt it had nothing to add to the genre.
The main character, Britta, was SO irritating. She’s pitched to be this kick-ass heroine who can shoot arrows and track like a boss, but she wasn’t even close. In truth, she was a wilting flower of a damsel in distress that depended on men to do everything for her and was constantly fainting. I couldn’t stand her!! And the love interest, Cohen, wasn’t much better. He had little to no personality to speak of, and it seemed like the only thing that Britta liked about him was his smell??? Seriously, she kept harping on how good he smelled. Yet they had been in the forest for a week (weeks??) with no bathing. HOW CAN SOMEONE (a man no less) STILL SMELL LIKE MOUNTAIN AIR IF THEY HAVEN’T BATHED IN A WEEK OR MORE. Somebody please explain that to me. It got to the point where I just started sighing and rolling my eyes.
It was horribly, painfully predictable, too. I spotted every “twist” coming a mile away. The writing was lackluster and the plot was generic at best. Suffice it to say that I will NOT be reading book 2.
Writing style: 1.5/5
Overall rating: 2/5