August 20, 2015

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:37 am by suebe2

untoldUntold/The Lynburn Legacy
by Sarah Rees Brennan
Random House

For the first time in Kami Glass’s life, she is well and truly alone.  Even as a child, she always had someone to comfort her when she was scared or sad.  But since she broke the magical connection that connected her and Jared mind to mind and also allowed him to pull magic through her, she knows what loneliness is.

The irony of this is that she is almost never actually alone.  She wants to connect again with Jared even if it can never again be magical.  She’ll settle for romance.  But Jared wants nothing to do with her since she broke their connection. That doesn’t stop his cousin, Ash, from trying to forge the same cousin.  Always the good boy that others could rely on, he’s sick of always being second to his rebellious cousin.  He wants this fun girl for his own.  He also believes that this will give him the magic he believe will help him in the coming battle.

Their town knows that a battle is coming.  The family of Lynburn wizards has always ruled their town, demanding payment in blood and goods to make sure the town prospers and that the Lynburn magic continues to flow.  But now one Lynburn wants to take the right to rule from another and doesn’t care who gets killed in the process, even if these people happen to be other Lynburns.

As is always the case with one of Brennan’s novels, I’m not 100% certain I’m doing the story justice.  Her work is always deliciously complicated and rich.  Her characters are deeply drawn and compelling and her setting is so well-imagined that you would recognize it if, heaven forbid, you should ever find yourself there.

As always, Brennan’s insane sense of humor keeps these books from being to dark to tolerate.  It’s hard not to love these characters, no matter how imperfect, who sass a wizard just because she ticks them off, and are willing to stand beside their friends in the face of certain disaster.

The beauty of coming to a series late in the game is that I don’t have to wait a year for the next book to come out.  Yeah, I get it.  That can be an amazing thrill but I have to admit that I’m enjoying the fact that I just finished book #2 and can move immediately to book #3. Book #1 was Unspoken.

As with Brennan’s books in general, the plot and characters of Untold are complex enough to hold the attention of adult readers as well as teens. Pick this one up for the reader on your list who loves contemporary fantasy, gothic horror and romance.

–SueBE

July 23, 2015

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy: Book One) by Sarah Rees Brennan

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 1:06 am by suebe2

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy: Book One)
by Sarah Rees Brennan
Random House

Kami Glass has learned a few lessons in her 17 years.  Prominent among them?  When you can talk to a boy named Jared in your head, don’t do it for too long and don’t let anyone else know.  If you do, they’ll think you’re crazy.

But Kami can talk to Jared.  He’s been with her as long as she can remember and she’s been there for him.  Tough times are a bit easier when you have a friend.

Then Jared shows up at Sorry-in-the-Vale, the town where Kami lives.  Have a friend talk to you in your head is strange enough.  Having him standing in front of you, tall, blond and oh-so handsome is another. It’s clear from the start that Jared is a bit of a bad boy, but Kami already knew that.  What she doesn’t understand is why he keeps shying away from her.

Jared and his family have been gone for seventeen years.  Kami doesn’t know that the deal is with the Lynburn’s but she knows it can’t be all good.  Even her mother is suspicious of them and immediately forbids Kami from seeing Jared.

Then the killings start.  Could it be Jared?  That’s what her mother seems to think.  Kami can’t stand that thought but she doesn’t want it to be someone she grew up with either.

That’s it on the plot.  I don’t want to give too much away.

Don’t be fooled by the cover.  While I love the use of silhouettes and shadow, something about this felt one very “old-time” to  me.  Not old as in Victorian but quite possibly 1950s little girl.  The main character in this book is a full-fledged contemporary teen.

As always Brennan has done an amazing job in weaving together a world that is both contemporary and recognizable, but also fantasy.  Her characters are wonderfully complex with a mixture of good and bad in each.  Yes, you’ll have to look a bit harder to find the good in some of the antagonists but it is there and includes a frighteningly rigid code of honor.  Break this code and, even if you are one of them, you’ve gone too far.

This book will probably appeal a bit moe to girls than to boys because of the romance element but it is not a girly book.  As always, Brennan deals with some tough themes including loyalty, honor and honesty.  Because of the darker elements, this book might not be a good choice for a sensitive tween.  But for a reader who is ready to explore the dark side of humanity in a safe venue, this book is a must.

–SueBE

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