**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
The pitch of this book is what sold me. Return of the King meets Romeo and Juliet?! I’m here for this!
I was so excited to read this new fantasy novel. It had everything I wanted. It started out so strong. Granted the first chapters were very, very long, but they were very well written. The introduction of Earthsong magic / elemental magic, strong characters, and the battle to save a race of people – all very well done. But once I got past those, I found that I wanted to know more. I wanted to know about the family the protagonist, Jasminda, lost before the story started. I was only given flashbacks and memories to base an idea from and that was not easy. Apparently Jasminda lost her parents and twin brothers but I knew next to nothing about them unless it was relevant to something specific happening in the story. I felt the same was true with Jack, the love interest. He came into Jasminda’s life and BAM! Instalove. From the beginning these two were instantly attracted to one another and they were head over heels. I always have a hard time with instalove because it is never ever believable. However, I tolerated it and pushed through.
The biggest thing that stood out to me about this is that it was less of a fantasy story and more of a love story. For once the romance took front and center while the threat to a civilization, political aspects, magical elements took a prominent backseat. It appears that nothing else in this story really mattered but the attraction between Jasminda and Jack. This caused me to lose a lot of interest by the end of the story. I wanted it to be over so I wouldn’t have to read about these two smitten kittens any longer. I couldn’t do the cheesy lines and fluttering hearts when the other glanced their way any longer. If it had been a nice side story that was playing quietly in the corner while the bigger part of the story took center stage, that would have been marvelous! I wanted to know more about the magic, the reason for the battles and mysteries!
With that being said, I also have to say the constant romance made it rather difficult for me to figure out what the actual plot was. I mean, I think I have an idea but I am not completely sure. There was nothing to help me figure it out since I was submerged in cheesy lines and swooning moments. An all too perfect kind of romance, mind you.
While this was an alright story when it was said and done, I felt it could have been so much better if some of the writing had been revamped. There was not anything exactly wrong with the writing style, per say, other than it did not feel engaging. There were no scenes that jumped out at me or truly made me gasp. It felt rather subdued and that caused me to grow a little bored.
Now please don’t leave this review thinking I hated the story because I did not. I just think there are very specific things that could have been improved upon to make the story a lot better. The idea and concept are absolutely fantastic, but the execution was lacking. While it did not hit me in the right way, I do believe a lot of readers will really enjoy this. Obviously these are just my humble opinions, I urge you to get the book and read for yourself. I always say not every book is for every reader so give this a try. If you read it differently and love the book, come back and tell me!