DESTINED by prophecy. GUARDED by deception. PURSUED by Love.
Centuries ago, an oracle foretold of the young woman who would defeat E’veria’s most ancient enemy, the Cobelds. But after two centuries of relative peace, both the prophecy and the Cobelds have been relegated to lore—and only a few remain watchful for the promised Ryn.
Finally, a child is born who matches the oracle’s description, but a Cobeld curse accompanies her birth. Led to believe they succeeded in killing the prophesied child, the Cobelds emerge from hiding with plans to overtake the Kingdom.
But the child survived.
Secreted away and called “Rose” for the first nineteen years of her life, Rynnaia E'veri has no idea of her true identity until a chance meeting with an injured knight reveals not only her parentage and true name, but the task assigned her by the oracle: discover the Remedy that will destroy the Cobelds' power.
Now, her time has come.
Offered the assistance of pirates, scribes, storytellers, a young woman who died centuries ago, and the knight who is quickly working his way into her heart, Rynnaia is fortified with friends. But if the Ryn is to complete her task, she must come to terms with not only who she is, but for whom she must be willing to die. For the kingdom’s survival depends on her.
Wow! Wowwowwow. I was blown away by this story! Ms. Chase is an excellent writer. Her ability to keep me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next was incredible. Especially as she'd always put some small, quiet moment right smack dab in the middle of a tense scene and made me wait just a little bit longer to find out what came next. I think my heart was in my throat during the entire first half of the story! In a good way, of course. :) I've always been a fan of fairytales and allegorical fantasy, this story is a great mix of both. The world-building is well-imagined and described. The people and the places, and it's all revealed a little here and there. The reader knows about as much as Rose does, so we discover all the secrets right along with her. Which means there are a couple moments when we get information dumps that slow things down a little in the second half. But Rose needs to know and so do we. And the revelations are so compelling that I could overlook the slower pace without any problems.
Interestingly, the first half of the book is written in third person and the second half in first person. Which sounds different, but it worked really well here. The change happens at a moment that makes total sense. I wasn't expecting it so it surprised me, but Ms. Chase handled it well. And of course you can't have a fairytale without a little romance. (Her very own knight in shining armor perhaps? ;) But just a little mind you. The romance really takes a backseat during much of the story. You see hints here and there, but not a whole lot of forward movement until late in the game. Yet we do end up with several very sweet moments that made me smile. (And anxiously awaiting further development in book two!)
With cursed beards, bear-men, pirates, storytellers, and knights, as well as so many friends (as well as enemies) surrounding our heroine, this is an adventure you don't want to miss! I know this review is pretty short and vague, but I really do think you need to go into the story not entirely sure what's going to happen. There are many mysteries to be solved and half the fun is not knowing how or what is ahead. Or who this or that person is. Of course, we know good will prevail, it always does. But it may take a beating before it reaches its goal. And the story ends on a note that makes me anxious to know what's gong to come next for our little band of heroes! Trust me. Get this one. Read it. It'll sweep you away to the lovely land of E'veria and into the hearts of its people. Then take heart once you're done, because book two is already out! :D
"Gladiel lifted a hand to smooth his beard, but Rose knew he was only trying to hide a smile. After a moment, he lowered his hand. "Would it anger you more if I were to tell you that you reminded me of your father just then?"
Rose thought to deny it, but at the last second changed her mind. "Mostly likely, yes."
"In that case," Gladiel said with a wink that drained Rose's anger, "I will keep that thought to myself."
"When it touches your soul, truth is like fire," he began. "As you know, when we rest too close to the fire we quickly become uncomfortable. Too close and it even becomes painful. But that doesn't always mean we should try to elude its flames."