Fantasy, Fiction

Kayla Reviews A RIVER ENCHANTED

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Summary:

Jack Tamerlaine hasn’t stepped foot on Cadence in 10 long years, content to study music at the mainland university. But when young girls start disappearing from the isle, Jack is summoned home to help find them. Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind, plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instill fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home. Adaira, heiress of the east and Jack’s childhood enemy, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, and she hopes Jack can draw them forth by song, enticing them to return the missing girls.

As Jack and Adaira reluctantly work together, they find they make better allies than rivals as their partnership turns into something more. But with each passing song, it becomes apparent the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than they first expected, and an older, darker secret about Cadence lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.

With unforgettable characters, a fast-paced plot, and compelling world building, A River Enchanted is a stirring story of duty, love, and the power of true partnership, and marks Rebecca Ross’ brilliant entry on the adult fantasy stage.

My Take:

This is the most beautifully written fantasy novel I’ve read in a long time. The imagery and symbolism alone is enough to get me to read this book, but the strong, relatable characters make me want to recommend this to everyone I know.

I sometimes have trouble reading fantasy because I often find that the character’s motivations are irrelevant to me, a 21st century woman. However, Jack, Adaira, Torin, and Sidrah all have realistic family motivations that keep the story grounded despite the magic on the wind. Also, it’s so refreshing to read a book that features two healthy, realistic romances.

This magic system here is also intriguing. The isle of Cadence features several people who wield magic in different ways: one through music, one through weaving, and one through weapons-building. The magic also comes at a great cost to those who wield it, and if I had to guess, I’d say the author probably drew some inspirations from Celtic lore.

Altogether, this is a beautifully created tale.

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