Sunday, May 6, 2012

Elanraigh: The Vow by S.A. Hunter

Elanraigh:  The VowQuoted from GoodReads: "Only Thera of Allenholme hears the voice of forest-mind…and heeds its warning . Thera doesn’t know why the Elanraigh forest-mind chose her, of all the Allenholme folk, to hear its voice and to awaken her gifts of mind and spirit. The Elanraigh sends a warning dream; black sails swooping toward Allenholme from across the western sea—the Memteth, an ancient enemy, armed with blue fire that hungers to consume life. As Thera awakens to her gifts of bonding with raptor birds and reading hearts, the knowing; she also awakens to love. Will she choose Chamakin the young Ttamarini warrior who is a kindred in spirit to her, or the polished young nobleman who covets her beauty even more than her estate? Forest-mind is aware she is yet too young for such power and responsibility. It has no choice—the lives of all Thera’s people and the existence of the Elanraigh Forest itself, depend on Thera fulfilling her destiny. Can she learn what she must of gift, and heart, to survive what comes their way? "

Elanraigh is a place I want to visit! The world in this novel is so well developed that I could almost believe it exists. It is a unique fantasy world where the forest is a sentient being that communicates to some of the characters.There is a troop of  fierce female soldiers and strange forest creatures. Elanraigh has a medieval flavor with some speech patterns that resemble old English.

Thera, the main character is on the cusp of adulthood.  Her parents are strong role models for her. Thera is the daughter of a Duke and therefore in an inherited leadership role.  She also has supernatural gifts that come with a spiritual leadership role. She is a strong female character, but she isn't perfect. She makes mistakes.  She also learns to acknowledge her mistakes and strives not to make the same mistake again.  She's a bit headstrong and can let her temper get the best of her.  These flaws make her all the more likable and give this tale a realistic hero,

There is just a tiny bit of romance.  I would have liked to know more about Thera's love interest Chamak.  He seems to have some special gifts similar to Thera's and they appear to be a good match.  I hope to see more of Chamak in the future additions of this series.

The only thing I didn't like about Elanraigh is the ending.  I know it is probably the most logical place to end, but I'd waited the whole book for Thera to reunite with Chamak and I just didn't have enough time with them before the ending of the book.  A few more scenes would have appeased my need for a bit more romance between the two.  I look forward the reading the next book and the continuation of their story.

The cover art captures the Thera I had envisioned fairly well.  I did not see the cover until after I had finished reading it on my kindle,  I can't quite figure out what the line over her cheek is...a stray hair?  I would have removed it.

 Overall, Elanraigh  is a fast and easy read. The writing is well done.  There were a few parts that seemed to drag a bit, but not enough to distract me from the plot.   Young adults as well as older adult fans of fantasy will enjoy this book.

Thanks to  for the copy of this book. In return for the copy of the novel, I offer my unbiased review.

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