WOW!!! It has been a really long time that I’ve enjoyed a fantasy book this much!
It’s strange. It’s refreshingly new! It’s romantic in a painful way. It’s violent. It’s… it’s… it’s GREAT!!!
"The people of Kaya die in pairs.
With the forging of the soul magic, so is forged an unbreakable bond between those in love. When one dies, so shall the other, and forever will it remain so..."
Such a romantic premise… But the beginning of the book is very violent and gruesome.
Avery, Ava’s soul mate her been killed in front of her eyes. Half of her soul died with him, but Ava didn’t die. She’s an abomination to her people, who first cried her as dead because they expected her to die as per tradition, but when she survived she was cast out.
They started planning my funeral, and mourned me while I was still there, lying paralysed in my childhood bed. But weeks went by, and then months, and still I didn’t die. I wasn’t the same – I was barely a shadow – but my body held on for some torturous reason. At times I thought it was punishing me. My own form had started to feel very foreign – a halfsoul in a body not its own. It was no wonder I became an outcast.
When the people in my town realised that I hadn’t died, they hated me for it. A petition went up banning me from entering public areas or shops. When I braved the streets, I was spat upon and called a demon. They said I was disgusting and inhuman, and they tried to drive me out of town – throwing things at the house and drilling holes in my father’s fishing boat.
She’s bitter, she’s alone, she’s a half soul person and she wants vengeance!
Instead she get’s imprisoned by the second son of the hated queen! She hate him too and her hate starts to grow more when he, Ambrose, who thinks Ava a boy because of her disguise, mistreat her and beat her.
Ambrose has made himself stop feeling anything. He’s trying to be a true son of the Pirenti, where any signs of humility or softness is a sin and where callousness and cruelty and highly valued, but during his journey with Ava will fail glamorously.
Two damaged souls, a gruesome journey, an impossible love… Wonderful!
The story is told from 4 POV: Ava/Avery (her name in disguise), Ambrose, Thorn and his wife Roselyn.
When I started reading it was strange and I had to get used to it, but the more I read the more I liked it! It was very refreshing and unusual, but so, so good! You get to know in depth all four characters: their whys, their how – simply brilliant!
Thorn is like a big brute. He’s completely in love with his wife, but he doesn’t realize it at all – he doesn’t even know what the word love means! He punishes her because she’s not conforming to his idea of wife, of woman. He wants her to be want he wants and not what she is. He’s struggling because his ideas of what to with her are confusing him. His experience and his upbringing do not give him means to cope. So he reacts and reacts badly.
Roselyn is strange. She has issues that run deeply. She knows that she do not have to do something, but she does it all the same. She’s afraid, she has obsessive-compulsive behaviour, she’s lost, but she knows that her most important wish is her husband’s love. But she also doesn’t know how to get it, how to ask for it.
And through the story emerges the character of the evil Queen. A woman so dead inside that she breathes death, that she raised her children to be monsters without feeling, without conscience, without life…
Thorn and Roselyn:
He swallowed. ‘Did you know she was making me like this?’
I frowned, confused by the question. ‘Yes, of course. She tries to make everyone like her. It is how she rules. Cruelty and violence and fear. You are her greatest weapon, Thorne.
‘I can’t change the fact that my mother is a monster, and she was so cruel to Thorne that she turned him into a beast. I can’t change how she enjoys hurting people and wants us to be the same.’
It’s very sad when first Ambrose, and then Thorn realise that she is the root of all their evil acts. When they understand that she is the monster not them. Nothing is so destructive than that!
Ambrose is the first to free himself from this destructive relationship when he realise that he’s fallen in love with Ava. But it is Ava who doesn’t want to acknowledge that the bond with Avery is no more. And Ambrose has to fight…
‘When you first looked at Avery, you bonded with him. It was easy and it was simple, and it was beyond any choice you could make. But when you and I first met, we hated each other. It was slow and it was impossible, and it happened against both our wills, despite everything that was put in its way. It was like we clawed at love with every ounce of our strength, like we held our breaths for it until no air existed in the world.’ He paused, and his eyes reached inside me. ‘So tell me – which do you think more real? Something you didn’t even choose, or something you had to fight for?’
Thorne’s freedom comes slowly through his growing love for Roselyn…
Roselyn, at the end, is the strongest person of them all… Her strength lies in her truthfulness…
‘We have no say, in this life, on how hard things will be. What we can control is how hard we fight. How long we endure. How strongly we love.’
And then, there are those magical creatures: the Pegasi. Winged horses of the Kaya.
Their bond with their riders is similar to the bond between the Kayans. It is a bond of love…
And then I knew. Just like that – a breath of air, a moment of deepest clarity. I opened my eyes and turned to where I knew he would be, and as I waited for him I could barely breathe with the force of love pounding through me, love with every one of his wing-beats.
There are twists and turns, world-rocking revelations and poignant moments. It’s pure fantasy!!!
A wonderful, wonderful book! It made me feel like I was a child again reading my fist fairy-tale!!!