My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: January 13th 2015
Publisher: Heartspell Media
Genres & Themes: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Magic, Family
Between love and duty lies destiny
Orphaned and alone, Jasminda is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where she is feared for both the shade of her skin and her magical abilities. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive – an injured spy who steals her heart.
Jack’s mission behind enemy lines nearly cost him his life but he is saved by the healing power of a mysterious young woman. Together they embark on a perilous journey straight into the heart of a centuries-old conflict.
Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.
The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.
What a premise! Not only did this book show beautifulness exteriorly, but it also demonstrated a similar enough quality for its content.
The beginning was gorgeous. It really was. The first chapter (the chapters were quite long though) held a great introduction to the world-building, Earthsong magic and especially our dear, strong and courageous heroine, Jasminda. I love her name; so original and catchy. It was a pleasure to read about her character. However, I found it regrettable to hear so many good things about Jasminda’s family and not actually have the possibility to read any moments/memories including them that weren’t just brief narrations. And she had two twin brothers. Gosh, I wish we could have ‘met’ them; they seemed so interesting by the intonation they were talked about. Also, this was where Jack – the love-interest – was presented. Oh, Jack…What a man! He seemed to have fallen right from the sky, because that’s how sweet he was. An angel: Perfection.
But that was also a bit apart of the problem I had with the romance. It seemed too otherworldly perfect. Too beautiful, too sweet, and containing an excessive ‘true love’ vibe. Now that I think back, I can guess that maybe the author was aware of it and that it’s what she wanted and aimed for from the start: A fairytale kind of romance. And that’s fine…but I didn’t find it realistic or as believable as it deserved to be.
This is basically a love story – or at least that’s how I saw it – with some memorable fantasy, magical, mystery and political aspects in the background. Which was fine, because what was in this latter was fantastic and, honestly. While the romance did not appeal to me by the end of the book as much as at its beginning – multiple cheesy lines showed up by then –, I didn’t hate it. Just…thought it to be taking more importance than pertinent to the plot.
But, wait, I didn’t feel like there was any plot determined. Which, I must say, was relieving. I’ve been reading so many books lately that felt so predictable and unoriginal while this one kept surprising me chapter after chapter. And I loved that about it. The main events were different from one another and set in a variety of settings. While the author neglected describing the scenes the story took place in, she made up for it with new characters, being found there, that all had a noticeable and riveting personality.
Oh my, the writing could have used some more figures of speech, because I, throughout my read, felt like something was REALLY missing in the it. I didn’t see any style. It was simple, ‘calm’ too, if you know what I mean. No sentences that will make you raise your eyebrows in surprise or make you react in some way, twists aside. And, I guess, what bored me the most was how the structure of the sentences was very often the same. The author DID write a good story, but it’s just unfortunate, since I feel it in my bones that I would have enjoyed it much more – four or five star-worthy more – if the writing had captivated me a little more.
It could certainly be that I brought up too many negative elements compared to the positive ones. To resume, the main character, secondary ones, love-interest (even if unrealistic) and world-building were great. The elements I didn’t enjoy quite as much though were the writing, overwhelming romance in the last 50% of the story and the atmosphere (there barely was any). Still, this is a book I think might please many to a high level, if the romance thoroughly shows itself being an epically strong, realistic in its context and swoon-worthy one to you.