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Chosen of Azara (Tales of Tehovir Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 313 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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An epic fantasy that doesn't bow down to the conventions of the genre, Chosen is set in a warring land where men in power screw things up for everybody else in their quest for yet more power. That's about the only conventional thing about Kyra Halland's book, which also involves time travel, unexpected POV switches and a truly epic scope.
Things start off with a young princess married off to a man from another land in order to stop a war. Just as you're waiting for a hundred pages in which the woman falls for her betrothed while wondering if he's ever going to love her, something really shocking happens that jerks the narrative off in a really unexpected direction.
That's the main strength of Halland's novel - it keeps you on your toes. Just when you think you've got everything sussed, the plot takes a sharp turn that wrong-foots you completely. While the protagonist swaps are occasionally frustrating, that's only because you've grown to know one character so well that you want to see them through to the end. Luckily, all of the characters in Chosen are engaging and well fleshed-out.
In particular, Chosen contains a number of genuinely strong female characters. While the women in the story are often considered pawns by evil men, they refuse to be pigeon-holed or ordered about. These women are headstrong and unconventional - one of the heroines is a mother, the other is a young woman who's afraid of upsetting societal balance. The commentary on gender play and the unfair balance of power in relationships makes for thoughtful reading.
Chosen of Azara is an epic fantasy with a splash of saccharine-free romance. It's fantastic to find a book this smart and well-written, though readers might be disappointed to discover it's a stand-alone. Considering how rich the world-building is, you'll wish Chosen was the first in a series.
Please be warned that my review includes spoilers, read at your own risk.
I really wanted to give this book 5 stars, however my unanswered questions and rushed storyline decreased it to a 3.5. The story is great one even the romantic plot is one that I enjoy what the book lack was detail and information. The story would have benefit from being written into a trilogy. The first book would have been the story of Juzeva and how and why she was the chosen of the Source Azara. In the first book I would have also introduce Sajur Golu and provided of how he went from being a wishful young man to the monster he became. Also explain what being chosen was and why one would die if she or he was not near their power source. I would also provide more details on how Juzeva and her husband became to love each other, and if he did not love her how he had at least grown fond of her. I would have ended the first book at the point when Sajur Golu killed the king and the crown prince. The second book would have been the story of Juzeva and the hardship she faced to protect her child and the sources entrusted to her by Azara. I would also spend sometime explaining her relationship with her new husband and how her child Lilia became to regard her mother as mad woman. The third and final book would have been dedicated to Sevros and Lucie and their story. Provide detail information about how lucie felt during the encounters in the forest where she saw Sevros.
All in all it was a great book, I just wished the author would have provided a bit more detail and background information.