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- Author : Zachary James
- Release date : January 27th 2020
- Publishing house : Zachary James Novels
- Number of pages : 504
- Book 2 : Cerulean Dawn
I pre-ordered the book because of the cover (made by Gabriella Bujdoso) which is really great. Then, the summary has reinforced my decision. I have received several pre-order bonuses as you can see on the picture.
When Ariadae Vox’s father tries to murder her after returning from the darkened forest she has been banished from all her life, the sixteen year-old takes it upon herself to delve into the seemingly wicked expanse of trees.
On her hunt for knowledge that can help save her kingdom from the cursed king, she discovers magic, monsters, and secrets that tie her to a world she has never known. Ariadae learns the truth of her mother’s untimely fate, the lies hidden in the shadowed libraries of a ruthless Fae Queen, and the intentions behind each of her companion’s reasons for joining her on this quest for answers that becomes a fight for survival.
Ariadae Vox : At the beginning of the book, she was irritating and annoying and a bit naive. She thought that going into the forest would be like enjoying a pleasant stroll. But well, she is a princess who was pampered during all her life, so that’s rather normal. I don’t think I would have kept reading f she had remained a crybaby. However, as the story unfolds, her growth is noticeable. She began to get a grip on herself and to fight back which felt really good ! She is not one to let people walk all over her and I was happy with her being more self-assured. Well, considering her role, she has to.
Jeremiah Vox : He was adopted by Ariadae’s father. He is two years older than her and they have trained together since she was twelve and he fourteen. He’s quite the joker but he would protect his friends and Ariadae especially to the death. I would not call it a love interest as Ariadae is not interested by him, it’s the other way around in fact. However, when she does not reciprocate his feelings, I don’t know if he is giving her the cold shoulder or if he needs some space. But well, because of the numerous dangers, it does not last long as they need to be united to remain alive.
Jax : He is the broody character of the story. I had some trouble liking him as he was too overprotective and always seemed angry towards Ariadae for the smallest of things. But she put him in his place and he becomes less unbearable. We don’t know a lot of things about him. A tiny portion of his backstory is only hinted at but we may learn more about him in the second book.
Zube : He is a joker but in a good way, either to calm everyone down when things get too heated or to cheer somebody up. Being an immortal, he can read minds which can be of help. He is stronger than a normal human but less than a High Fae. So far, he seems trustworthy but we still do not know a lot about him.
His writing was very ornate. I know how difficult it is to keep the attention of the reader, and he did a pretty good job. Sure, there are some downsides as there are a lot repetitions, or when some sentences were too dense. But the descriptions of the characters’ emotions, the places they cross or the various monsters were vivid. I could really picture myself being in the vast expanse of this forest.
Story-wise, it was quite enjoyable. I thought that he did a good job keeping a balance between action and peaceful moments. The action scenes were gripping and the writing made them stand out.
But the way the story is structured makes it easier to predict what will happen : something bad happen – a reprieve – someone sees or hears something – something bad happen and so on.
We learn that she is part of a very ancient prophecy and that she is in fact an immortal. There had been some hints before when she saved Zube from being killed or when she had a Flare (her mortal body can’t contain her powers anymore).
For now, she isn’t focused on the potential war but on the way to save her father. The people she met all want to use her for something : either to spark a new rebellion to kill Evaflora or to become the one who will unite both the mortal or the immortal. But well, we all know that she will have to take part in that war whether she wants it or not.
The very end is predictable but not the way it led to it. He managed to keep me interested all along the book with good plot twists. I am looking forward to reading the next book. Several things remain unresolved such as who Fayla is. This Fae seems bent on wreaking havoc on the world.
There is one thing I found strange, though. There apparently are three guardians of the Forest, each one being very powerful as no one has ever killed them. But they succeeded in killing one by cutting her head off. But it was strange because the guardian did not do anything, she only pursed Ariadae through a maze while talking to her so I did not see why she was considered powerful or frightening. I did not really get that sense of danger. What’s more strange is that it is said that only mountain ash can kill an immortal but it had never been said that the sword was made of it.