A Tale of Chimaera, Shapeshifters, Angsty Princes,
and the Girl Every Single Person Loved
And what an interesting tale it is.
A rogue elven prince is determined to destroy the creatures who murdered his brother, but his plans are disrupted when a tribe of powerful shapeshifters join forces against him. Now a single human girl, Evanthe, is caught between the warring species, and both sides are searching for her.
After accidentally stumbling into their world, Evanthe is kept hidden in the prince’s own dungeon by one of his servants, a young mage named Delanor. All she really wants is to find a way to return home, for she knows it is only a matter of time before her whereabouts are discovered. But what weighs heavily on her mind even more than fear are the growing feelings she has for Delanor–and her dangerous attraction to the elven prince.
When she receives a tantalizing offer from the enemy, she will have to choose sides not only in a war between nations, but between the allure of an immortal prince and the unconditional love of his servant.
My Rating: 3.25 Stars
Let’s start with the main character, Evanthe (lovely name). I’m going to be honest. I am a MC snob. That is my flaw, not the author’s. The main gripe I have with Evanthe is that it seems like she just lets things happen to her—she never fights back. In the first couple of pages Evanthe’s town is being attacked and she flees with her mother. She passes out and wakes up in a dank room in a castle filled with chimaera-like inhabitants.
This girl is the master of going with the flow. Her town has just been destroyed, her parents probably killed, everyone she knows is presumably dead, and maybe two or three times did I hear her ponder these facts. Why doesn’t she immediately wonder whether her parents are alive? She never mentions her dad. Why doesn’t she wonder more about where exactly she is? Did she never bond with one person—not the person who sold flowers outside her house, or a neighbor boy she might have liked, or anyone—that she would care about enough to mourn their death? She did say she missed the kitchen help, so that’s something.
It’s written in first person, but I felt so disconnected from Evanthe. I have no idea what Evanthe wants, what her hopes and dreams are, what she loves and hates. I just wish I had seen more of her character and personality…I did see hints of her wittiness and I really enjoyed those parts.
Everyone likes Evanthe, almost immediately. The prince that hates her kind is immediately attracted to her. The tough and scary dragon creature takes to her with very little coaxing. The big bad leader of the shapeshifters trusts her after one day of her captivity.
At first Evanthe fears the prince to the point that she can’t even speak in his presence, but after she brings him lunch (long story) and runs through a meadow with him, she decides he’s her one and only. This isn’t the type of romance I typically go for, but that’s my personal opinion (as is the nature of a review) and it may not be the same for others. I wish their relationship had been slowed down and fleshed out so the bond between them was more believable. It seemed rushed.
And that leads me to point out that there’s a lot of telling and not enough showing. A lot of important details were told to me through dialogue. Powers and conflicts within the novel were explained a bit too in depth at some points to be believable for dialogue. Such as: when you’re about to be attacked and need to rush off to battle you probably wouldn’t take the time to explain the story of a horse or answer twelve questions. It seems that there’s always one detail too many, and I felt that I wasn’t allowed to infer things on my own through the narration.
There were minimal typos within the novel, though I did find a few. None were terribly noticeable. A period instead of a comma before a dialogue tag, an absent word here or there, ing instead of ed.
Now to end this on a better note. I really enjoyed the minor characters. The Revenant is an interesting group of dudes. Each has a different power, a very powerful power. The backstory of the conflicts between all the “tribes” was great and I wanted to read more about the history of the strange world Evanthe appeared in. Delanor and Faolan are awesome; their friendship is one of my favorite aspects. I’m a softie for huge, dangerous monsters with a heart made of marshmallow fluff. What can I say? And that old geezer Kris is so cute. I have a thing for hobbly old men for some reason.
Prince Celestyn is such a hunky, tragic, angsty, tortured Prince. I am such a sap for tortured bad guys eaten up by their desire for vengeance of a loved one. (Me: JUST LET ME FIX YOU WITH MY LOVE!) He’s a complex character and I enjoyed reading about him and his temper tantrums. He reeks of loneliness and a myriad of other unhealthy emotions. Poor guy. Evanthe, just twist your hands in his starlight locks and call him by his name instead of “My Lord”, already! I loved that scene. It showed so much about his character.
This novel has a penchant for taking a bad guy and showing you their other side. There is a reason behind each conflict, and no bad guy is truly bad just for the sake of being bad.
The ending didn’t answer all the questions I had, but it did a good enough job and, anyways, I’m sure the second book will clear things up.
Should you read this book? Yes, you should. It’s an interesting read, and despite any flaws I thought it had, when I put it down all I wanted to do was pick it up again and keep reading. I was rapt, and so excited to find out what exactly was going on and discover everyone’s secrets. I have no doubt that K.C. is a great writer, and I eagerly await the next installment in this series.
The Query Faerie