Rogan is ripped from her home after watching her family murdered, and taken to the capital of her country, Phaedra. She is wanted for her powers as an Azyl, or finder; a magic she didn’t even know she had until that fateful day. She befriends the young ruler, Haydyn, becoming her handmaiden, adviser, and best friend. When Haydyn becomes ill with a sleeping sickness, Rogan knows she must find the almost extinct Somna Plant to save her ruler and friend. Unfortunately, this adventure requires being accompanied by Wolfe, the Head of the Royal Guard, all around jerk, and son of the man that murdered her family. Will Rogan find more than the Somna Plant on her journey?
So, I downloaded this right after I finished Play On, also by Samantha Young, but just now read it. Oops! This read is more Fantasy than Romance than Play On was, and I like that blend. Overall I like the book, but, as always, I have a few details to outline.
- Rogan and Wolfe’s relationship is adversarial and flirty which is fun on paper. In reality, Rogan is kind of terrible to Wolfe, even after finding out that he’s not all that he seems. I feel like this made Rogan a lot less likable. It wasn’t cute and didn’t feel as much like an internal struggle after her revelations and continued bad behavior. It just felt mean.
- The end of the book is wrapped up in just a few pages. All of the loose ends are covered, but one of the main points is what Rogan learns while traveling to obtain special plant (more on this in a minute). I feel like, outside of the love story piece, this was important, and it was skimmed over with major points outlined, but without a lot of details. I didn’t feel confident that it was resolved and would’ve loved to see this specific plot point’s resolution more fully realized.
- Rogan experiences personal growth. I think it’s easy in “typical” romance novels for the main characters to have some kind of artificial growth that allows them to come together more fully in a happily ever after. But I enjoyed Rogan learning that she shouldn’t trust what’s she’s told or take stereotypes as gospel without personal knowledge. She learns that the scary and uncouth mountain people are anything but, and vows to be different when meeting new people.
- We have a tiny discussion of same sex love. I LOVE this. In this day and age we need to normalize, friends. Let’s all get together and make this a totally ok thing to talk about, read about, let others love in peace. Thank you for this, Samantha Young.
- Accents. Samantha Young is SO good at writing dialogue in a way that allows you to read in the accent the character has. I really enjoy this. It’s fun and adds more to those characters than just describing the accent after the dialogue.
My summary? The adventure is fun. There’s tension and romance. The end could’ve been more thorough. But I still enjoyed it quite a bit. I’d give it a go if I were you.