*Disclaimer: I received an Advance Reader's Copy from Netgalley in exchange for review consideration. This does in no way affect my opinion, and all thoughts expressed in this review are unbiased and my own.*
Series: Earthsinger Chronicles
Author: L. Penelope
My rating: 4 hearts
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pub. date: May 1st 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Synopsis: A treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers.
Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive--an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.
Jack's mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it's people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda's Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.
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. (synopsis from Goodreads)
When I first found this book, and read the synopsis, I thought it sounded really interesting and unique, and I immediately wanted to give it a try. And I was not disappointed. It was original, the plot was great, if a little slow paced, and the world was really interesting. It was a bit predictable, which lowered my rating a bit, but it was still a very enjoyable read and a definitive recommendation!
I liked the characters. I really liked that the characters – Jasminda and Jack – were so different, they’d grown up in different ways, and even though they were both from the same place, they had very different views of the place. I think it added more depth to the story, and plus, they’re both very likeable characters. They were interesting to read about, and I really enjoyed reading about them.
The plot was good. It was a bit slow at times, but it was interesting and different, and it hooked me from the first page, so it honestly didn’t bother me too much. There were so many question marks in the beginning that I had to find out the answer to, so I just kept reading and reading… and then it was over. Unfortunately, it was a bit predictable, and I figured out most things a while before it happened.
The very best thing, though, was the world. It’s very unique and it was what drew me to the book in the first place. And it didn’t disappoint. The world-building was good, the author told just enough to catch the reader’s attention, but not too much that you felt overwhelmed. It was the perfect amount at the perfect time, leaving the reader interested and needing to know more. It was amazing.
It was a bit more explicit than most Young Adult, though. I was actually very shocked when I went into the book and read some scenes, and I think for a YA book it may not be entirely appropriate, at least not without some warning, so that annoyed me a bit. It also means that I would recommend this book to older youths, because it does have some very mature content.