Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my copy of this book.
When woken from his "illness" Astrin knows something is off, not right. He just can't remember. His supposed friend is mean, and Astrin can't think why. Rowan has hated Astrin since his parents died, and he hated tending him while he is in their care. When Rowan's uncle and Astrin's father are kidnapped by the third House who wants the war between their Houses to continue, the boys are going to have to work together, as reigning Heads of House, to stop a world war, and get back their father and uncle.
First up, when I said I would read this book, I did not realise it was Young Adult. Had I know it, I would have passed it over. Why am I telling you this??
BECAUSE I LOVED IT! I really did. Its like an adventure story, a coming of age story, a first love story, a rebellious teenager story, all rolled into one, 340 pages long story that kept me going til the end.
The boys, because at 19 and 17, they really are just boys still, set off to find Astrin's dad and Rowan's uncle, and end up finding each other. Their love grows, and neither boy really understands what it is they are feeling, til the are hit up side the head with the realisation that they love each other. They face many challenges along the way, and get help in all sorts of corners of the land they have to go into to get the men out. Its all very character building, and I mean that these boys grow into men along their journey.
I loved the beginning, with Rowan being such a brat, and hating Astrin as he did, but Rowan is the first to fall, and hard. I loved the hints and visions that were told to them along the way, that Astrin would save Rowan time and again, but Rowan need only to make sure he saved Astrin the once. Or Astrin would be lost forever.
It is, being young adult clean, and fairly violence free. Some suggestions and hints make me rate it upper young adult, 16 plus.
I would like to read something more adult by this author. I'm not knocking this one, because I was surprised I loved it, being a young adult, but I would still like to read something with more bite.
**same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Divine Magazine listing for this book**
About the Author
Cheryl Headford has always been a storyteller. As a child, she'd make up stories for her nieces, nephews, and cousin, and they'd explore the imaginary worlds she created. Later in life, Cheryl became the storyteller for a reenactment group who traveled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. It was there she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. Although much of the magic of the wandering bard has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that wants to believe that it's still there, somewhere.