For eighteen years Aia Wynnald has lived a lie. Raised as a highborn in the Kingdom of Tharien, she’s filled her days with tutors and archery lessons. But simmering beneath her polite surface is a dangerous gift, one which she must keep a secret. Aia is a Bender. And in Tharien, Benders are feared and hunted.
When her unruly power breaks free with dire repercussions, Aia’s lifelong goal of independence shatters. As she scrambles to piece her life back together while evading capture, she disturbs a vengeful force intent on destroying the kingdom.
Now, with the help of an unlikely ally, Aia will decide the fate of Tharien. To rescue those she cares about will require accepting what she is. But can she risk becoming the monster she’s dreaded to save the very citizens baying for her blood?
I was provided a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my thoughts and opinions.
This was one of the first book review request I responded to on GoodReads. And honestly, I had decided not to read it till near the release date, as Shelby requested a review close to the release date. BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER I MADE!
I should have read it way before. This would have been so worth breaking my promise to Shelby (I am so not sorry for this, Shelby – I really shouldn’t have listened to you!).
“I know this might be hard to understand, but I don’t want to Bend. I yearn for acceptance, freedom, air to breathe.”
Coming the review – This series is based in a world of Tharien, a kingdom ruled by a douche-bag Emperor – I call hi m douche-bag at the start of my review to correspond with the douche-bagness he shows at the start of the plot.
The story starts with Maia or Aia as she likes to be called on the run, after she looses control of the bending abilities and hurting her brother. Now she is on the run to be Drained of her abilities so that she can be reunited with her family (Yeah right!).
She is a highborn, so she has this naive little attitude that everything is sunshine and the world is all black and white. She is a little hard to like personally, but as a character she makes tremendous growth through the course of the story. She goes from this naive little girl that thought a simple change would make everything alright to a girl who understood that life is full of tough choices that don’t always fall in the category of black and white.
“He didn’t care what the Emperor said. He knew who Aia was. And he’d stand by her.”
Cole on the other hand, is a Breaker – the cops who hunt down Benders. Now he is man with a lot of layers. He is the perfect Breaker, good at tracking and absolutely amazing fighter, but he also has a lot of secrets – and no, I am not going to tell you even a single one of them cause hello!!! SPOILERS! 😛
But the best part is Aia and Cole’s relationship. It is easy to see that there is an attraction between them but there is no obvious pointing to it (Sneaky Shelby!) but the obvious growth between them is also a treat to watch.
“You are a threat because they made you so.”
Now with every fantasy novel/series, it is expected that there will be a small degree of predictability in it. It is a credit to Shelby that even when i found myself thinking that this book was going the predictable way, she threw in a twist that I never saw coming.
And the fact that she has made a whole new world, is also commendable because it is believable – I could actually imagine this world and the people in it! The writing is simplistic yet beautiful enough that it keeps you sucked in till the end.
The only reason I am shaving off .5 Stars is because though predictability was handled quite well, it still was predictable enough to feel just a teeny tiny uncomfortable. But I still can’t wait to read the next installment! So, Shelby – chop! Chop! Off you go writing! 😉
4.5 / 5 Stars
If you are a lover of young adult fantasy books, then do not think, just pick up this book. I promise you will definitely enjoy it! Also you can pick up this book, if you are looking for a little change in pace and want to try a new genre.