Author: Monica Wolfson
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: The Tysseland Chronicles, book one
Star Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review--thank you so much, Monica!
First off, I want to say that I'm a fantasy novel junkie. It doesn't really matter what kind--urban, medieval, science fiction oriented--if it's a fantasy, I'm all over it. And the cover on this book--it's so freaking pretty! And I was very excited to read this. I wanted to love it, but unfortunately, there were a lot of issues with this book that really bogged down the narrative. I loved the idea of it--it had everything I wanted in a fantasy novel--magic, new worlds, romance, and excitement, and of course, an evil queen! But there are some parts of the novel that really need to be ironed out.
The editing of this novel really needs some work; at times the writing kept jumping back and forth between past and present tense, so it was hard to follow in some spots. The world-building was vague and confusing--I couldn't really picture Tysseland, except as a vague, confusing picture of a magical world slightly infused with our world's modern technology.
I liked the characters, especially Sasha, though at times it seemed like she was concentrating more on her infatuation with Evan, the hot guy who happens to save her life throughout the book. I also really enjoyed Evan and Sasha's relationship--it wasn't instant and moved along at a good pace. But other characters, like Sasha's sister Hannah, Vania, and Willow, seemed to only be vague people in the book--I didn't get to know them, and so they didn't feel real.
This book has a lot of potential--a fantasy foundation, a kick-butt main character, an exciting premise and good pacing, but it really needs to be cleaned up. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it--it was fun! Next on deck: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell!