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White Hart (White Hart Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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It’s a YA fantasy about a young girl with hidden powers. It’s a coming of age story as Mae learns about who she is, finds love and friendship in unexpected places and has to grow up if she is to survive.
Mae misses her potential, especially as a main character. She is powerful: her magic connects to nature and is entwined with the fate of the kingdom. But she seems to conveniently remember about her power at odd times: she doesn’t use it when you feel like she could, then she goes to extreme.
She is scornful of Cas – with good reason at the beginning. But her feelings mellow and it doesn’t take long before she starts to care for him. Halfway through the book, however, she reverts back into thinking he is useless and not her problem, before going through the whole process again. It was as if the author needed a quick reset to stop these emotions from going too far. Mae can be harsh to Cas, and to others, despite having no reason to be so. It undermined her character and I felt she was shallow for most of the book.
Mae rides a white stag. This is never explored properly and what the significance might mean. He doesn’t appear to have any special traits about from bearing Mae.
Cas is likeable – I much preferred his character. He, at least, seems consistent. He also, however, is head over heels in love with his future bride; that he met the same day she was kidnapped. He is due to marry her because he believes she has Mae’s gift and this deception is kept up throughout the book.
Mae’s gift has been kept a secret throughout her life. She lives apart from the village and we are led to believe the villagers treat her like an outsider. The interactions we do witness, however, does not enforce this idea and I was left feeling at odds about her relationship with them: telling and showing were two separate stories here.
It makes sense why she wants to keep her powers a secret from Cas. But when she does reveal all, he laughs at her. Rather than proving him wrong and getting them out of their current mess, Mae withdraws, becomes afraid and ashamed, and goes back to it being a big secret.
I don’t get it: she told him. Why are we then pretending this conversation never took place? Again, it feels like a quick reset in order to allow the plot to continue at its previous pace.
The pacing felt quite slow, only for there to be a final twist at the end that makes no sense unless you continue to read the second book. Despite being intrigued by the ending, I found the character development and pacing problematic and can’t bring myself to read the second.
I wanted to like this, but it just had some problems for me.
So, if I want to read the rest, it means buying the books. Not sure if I think the story is worth it. Book 2 looks to be promising but I've been disappointed before, so will have to consider whether paying 2 lots of £3.49 (I think that is the price per book) will be justified. But as there are so many other fantastic magic & fantasy books through Kindle Unlimited, I might just give these other 2 books a miss.
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I really enjoyed this well-written fantasy, one of magic, adventure,...Read more