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Silent Orchids: A YA Fantasy Adventure (The Age of Alandria Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
I have truly tried to take my time reading the first book in this series...but it was almost impossible due to my insatiable desire to know what happens next!
Crisp story with excellent characters well defined...but yet more to come...teased out and made the most of...frustrating in a way, but like salivating over a gourmet feast.
Well done, Morgan...now onto the next course!
Kaeleigh is a young girl just turned eighteen, abandoned as a child in Montana. Now as she reaches adulthood she is desperately trying to find out where she belongs. Having know idea who her family is, she embarks on a journey to discover her past, but she might not like what she uncovers.
I really loved the premise of this book. Alandria felt like a Middle Earth setting, with fairies and other creatures thrown into the mix. The idea of a mysterious power that would save the dying realm intrigued me, and definitely kept me wanting to know more. I preferred the Daegan elements of the story more than Kaeleigh’s, but it was interesting to see how they weaved together. The abandoned at childhood with an unknown past felt a little predictable, but it was still executed well.
The first half of the book felt a little slow, but it definitely picked up in the middle chapters. Kaeleigh’s character is a really interesting one. Everyone pins so many ideals on her and she is not what everyone expects her to be. I also really liked her two best friends, Finn and Chel. The three made for an interesting dynamic and I enjoyed their musketeer like adventure.
The story features a wide array of creatures, not just elves and fairies but shifters and many others in between. I felt that it was a bit of a unique take on the high fantasy story, as it can get a little played out, but there was plenty of action and lots of interesting dialogue. Sometimes the writing style felt a little rigid, but it didn't detract from the story too much.
Wylie has definitely paid attention to all the little things in this novel, and as a reader that is always something I appreciate. From maps to glossaries, the world is very easy to immerse yourself in, and that detail just makes it that much more realistic. If you’re a fan of high fantasy, this is definitely a series to watch out for.
Silent Orchids by Morgan Wylie is a vivid adventure. It's a twist on the modern fae story that wraps in elements of epic fantasy and world building, which works beautifully. Though I noticed some stylistic aspects of the story that didn't gel with me, Wylie is clearly an author to keep on your radar.
Silent Orchids is about Kaeleigh, an orphan girl with only one thing to her name: an orchid pendant she's always had. Between that and the visions of another world she's never seen and people she doesn't know, she figures she's special in some way... she just hopes that doesn't mean she's crazy. Her friends Finn and Chel keep her sane and laughing despite her troubled upbringing in the foster system, and that's what really matters. They're all the family she really needs. That is, until a hottie named Daegan starts stalking her, talking about an alternate realm where she's apparently pretty important. She wants to believe she can be more than just a waitress with no parents, but she's not sure she's willing to dive into his alternate reality.
Half of the book was spent trying to get Kaeleigh to the fae world, and I understand why. It's a delicate balance between a fast-paced book and convincing Kaeleigh to suspend her belief in reality, so I can see why it took a bit longer than I expected to get her there. In fact, some of the best scenes in the book were from the human world (watching Kaeleigh struggle to figure out what she is and why her parents left her was incredibly well done). Wylie keeps us invested with multiple perspectives, half of which detail the magical elements of the fae world. In Daegan's POV, for instance, we see the fae royal court, learn a bit about the politics there, see magic, and meet various races. The world building of Alandria, done through his POV in the opening chapters, is breathtaking, and I settled right into it. That, balanced with Kaeleigh's human-world adventures, is a nice compliment.
This is a third person omniscient narrative, which means we don't dig deeply into any one perspective for very long and can flit between people in the same scene. That meant that, sometimes, we would shift between perspectives too quickly, and I would have trouble keeping track of how an individual was interpreting various plot developments or their opinion of different characters. There was a lot of dramatic irony from this POV choice, though, and that gives the reader more of an overall impression of the world, politics, and characters. So the style has definite pros despite the cons.
The plot was interesting and full of action. Though I sometimes questioned characters' motivations, I enjoyed the twists and turns of their journey.
Bottom line--I enjoyed this novel, and I'm invested at this point. I adore Wylie and her clear love for writing & fantasy worlds. The characters are enjoyable, the world vivid, and the plot exciting. I'll be reading the rest and hopefully snagging an ARC for book 2 (Veiled Shadows), which is due out this fall.
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