Author: Jenna Morland
Publisher: Oftomes Publishing (09/04/2018)
No one will put this little gem in the corner…
…or its protagonist. Swayze… different, quirky, an outcast, and add to that…she’s dying. From page one I began rooting for the underdog in this magical YA fantasy. Morland has created an urban landscape peopled by humans, fae, demons, and witches. The one thing that stands out for me in this novel is the originality of her Fey character, Daylan. He and Swayze realize their special connection early, creating difficulties in her emotional life as she struggles to reconcile her other relationship with childhood friend, Tyler. Daylan is not the typical Fae (fairy) character you see so many times in other YA lit. He is a contradiction, gentle and caring on one hand and a ruthless killer when he needs to be. His endearing quality is that he really does not understand the human world. Morland wrote perfectly when he engaged with Swayze in a simple human task, i.e.: eating a sandwich. I could see his eyebrows rise and the look of utter confusion on his face as he waited for her to eat first so he would do it right. His reaction another time, when asked if he helped her and her mother with insurance issues was classic, “I don’t even know what you mean by that.”
Morland’s other characters are equally well written. Penelope, one of Swayze’s best friends who turns out to be something Swayze could not ever imagine. Her “hippie” mom, I just wanted to reach through the pages and hug her. Tyler, maybe a more typical YA character, Swayze’s best friend from childhood, he lived through her illnesses with her and literally has her back.
The only negative I found was a bit of head-hopping between Swayze and Daylan. But it didn’t take away from the story as I stepped back and justified it by their unique connection.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable book. I bought it when it released but didn’t have a chance to read it until one cold, rainy day when I was recovering from the Flu. It was perfect.
I look forward to the next installment, my imagination is running wild in anticipation of Empress being truly unveiled.