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Enlightenment (The Driel Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 256 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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What would you do if you woke up one morning and learned that you were secretly royalty of a fantasy kingdom in another realm? Or that your best friend is really a highly trained guardian that has been hiding you from your enemies? What about the fact that you have magical powers beyond your wildest dreams?
That is precisely what happened to Thea. Leaving to catch the school bus one morning, she finds herself being attacked by grotesque creatures bent on killing her. Discovering magical powers that she didn't know she had, Thea fights to escape, along with the help of her friend, Eli.
But then Eli drops a significantly shocking secret into Thea's lap. She is actually an elf and the princess of a kingdom in another realm. Oh, and that they were leaving right away to return to said kingdom so she can finally reclaim her throne and become the queen.
After arriving in the new realm, Faey, Thea meets several more of her kingdom's protectors, including the head guard, Isaac. She feels immediately drawn to him, despite his icy demeanor. This eventually causes a dilemma for Thea, as she hasn't even sorted her possible feelings for Eli, at this point.
Her return to the realm does not go without its challenges. In order to become the queen, Thea must complete training that she hasn't even started yet, and only has four months to do it. She must learn fighting, weapons, history, and magic. And all the while, she has to avoid her evil nemesis who wants nothing but to see Thea fail.
I flew through this book. I didn't want to put it down. I think the author did a fabulous job of portraying Thea's experience of learning her true identity and falling into this new world. The pacing was fast but I had no problem keeping up. The romance was a bit 'quick' for me, but I've come to expect this in YA novels. The "I love you's" tend to come earlier when dealing with teenagers, so I tried to ignore the cringe I felt when I saw them. We eventually do get to see a couple of chapters from Isaac's POV.
The fight/action scenes are descriptive but don't drag on and on like is done in some fantasy novels. My only big critique is I wanted more description as far as the characters go. We get to "see" the surroundings and scenes much better than the actual people inside of them. I finished the book and couldn't even remember what color hair Thea had. But I knew exactly what the inside of the caves/tunnels looked like.
A strong beginning to what I expect will be a good fantasy trilogy. 4 suns!
Full review on Up 'Til Dawn Book Blog
What I liked :
Thea was the Chosen one in the story. She discovers that she is not only an elf, but the Future Queen of elves. She is thrust into a new world, surrounded by threats and forced to adapt. She worries about staying alive and the fate of the kingdom. But she exceeds expectations and transforms from teen to future queen by giving her best.
Eli was her guardian angel, best friend and rock. He represented safety & familiarity in her life. Isaac was the unknown and Thea trained under him to prepare for her role as Queen. He was secretive and distant, which made Thea wary.
The focus was on the elves and other creatures like trolls, goblins featured in minor roles. Each elf had an affinity for a specific element and this determined their abilities.
I loved seeing Thea's abilities evolve, it reminded me of Pokemon at times.
The pacing was fast and the character and reader are plunged into a dangerous world. I really enjoyed this aspect and the editing was flawless.
I finished this in two sittings and am waiting anxiously for the sequel.
Its not what it seems
This is related to a twist in the last few chapters. This is a spoiler free review so all I can say is, the twist will blow your socks off.
What I didn't like :
Low emotional connect
I was not really affected by the changing circumstances and felt like an observer at times. This allows the reader mental distance from the characters and their troubles.
The characters don't get a break or any time to mourn, be shocked, laugh, relax or think about things. They are racing against a clock most of the time so it was justified. But due to this we don't get a chance too dig deeper into the psyche of the characters. At times I wanted to urge them to pause, take a deep breath and have some hot chocolate.
I am really curious to figure out what happens next and will definitely read the next book in the series. This is strongly recommended to anyone who enjoys YA Fantasy.
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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