Darkspire Reaches Kindle Edition
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- Length: 250 pages
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Top Customer Reviews
Wonderful character development has created endearing beings like the Drakken, Lord Connor, and little Kryling, the firedrake, who is just so amusing and, of course, Raven, and all have come together to help in the making of the magic that is Darkspire Reaches.
Synopsis (from the author): The wyvern has hunted for the young outcast all her life; a day will come when, after being rejected by civilisation and the tribes, she must at last face him.
Abandoned as a sacrifice to the wyvern, a young girl is raised to fear the beast her adoptive clan believes meant to kill her. When the Emperor outlaws all magic, Raven is forced to flee from her home with her foster mother, for both are judged as witches. Now an outcast, she lives at the mercy of others, forever pursued by the wyvern. Soon her life will change forever.
A unique and unsettling romantic adventure about rejection and belonging.
What I liked: There were many likeable aspects about this novel. First, the character of Raven was a nice example of a character developing throughout the story. Margie, Raven’s mentor and mother figure, went from a sympathetic character to one I didn’t like much as the story progressed. Connor, the human/wyvern was a bit of an enigma and is gradually revealed as the story moves forward. I think my favorite character, though, was the Kryling, the firedrake!
What I didn’t like: I really thought the rape scene could have been changed. The idea that Connor had to rape Raven to keep her magic from destroying both of them seemed odd to me - despite references earlier in the book about the necessity of Samara Maidens being controlled by taking their virginity. It was never clearly established that Raven was a Samara Maiden, so it just seemed unnecessary. I also thought Imelda was too stereotypical. I didn’t like the way Merrill played an important role in the book at first, but then faded away to a non-entity. Lastly, Raven's acceptance of the wyvern part of herself seemed out of character given her fear of the wyverns, in general.
Overall impression: Darkspire Reaches was an overall enjoyable read. The characters were well developed, and the story moved along at a good pace. I didn’t care for the rape scene, nor for the way Raven fell for Connor after the event, but would still recommend this fantasy for adult fantasy readers.
My rating: 4 Stars
What I also liked was her twisted and complicated relationship with Connor that started off in the quite an unconventional way, but to be honest, as a reader I like unconventional. I also appreciated how gradually their relationship developed to a much deeper one.
The ending was absolutely perfect and left me highly satisfied, and it seemed to me that maybe there will be a sequel. I would definitely want to follow Raven’s story and see where the fate takes her and Connor.
Other reviewers have commented on the quality of the world building and I would have to agree. More than just an engrossing fantasy adventure though, this is also a powerful coming of age story, with all the pains that implies, and the psychological torment of a character arc that takes our heroine from a place of not believing in herself, of being shunned by all those about her, with all the low self-esteem that implies, the pains of the ridicule, the psychological and physical abuse, to a terminal point of empowerment at the other end of the rainbow of very long and colored experiences.
If you’re willing to not rush through this one and let the author take her own pace, and surrender to her storytelling style, you will be rewarded. The heroine, Raven, is a rich and complex character whose depth echoes the depth of the world-building. The two together make for a charming and unforgettable story.