This was another series I found recommended by other bloggers here, so thank you again!
I’m placing this review on the 5th book, but it really covers all the books. I do have to say that the first book I was a bit 'meh' about - it was good, but it wasn’t grabbing me like I thought it might. By the middle of the 2nd book, I was hooked and inhaled the rest of them.
While this does have a lot of the typical epic fantasy tropes (average girl has glimmers of special powers, evil overlord etc.), it was the journey our heroine and hero take that really hooked me. Their relationship, and the relationship between the various supernatural and mortal folk inhabiting this world was fascinating.
An aside - I tend to shy away from romance novels, mainly because it always seemed that there has to be this stupid misunderstanding keeping the two people apart for NO REASON other than the author needs it to create tension. Added to that, if there is any sort of suspense or danger involved, one party will keep a hugely important bit of information from the other because … well, who knows? There’s never a good reason for it other than a silly plot device.
Another thing that drives me nuts in straight romances is the ‘spirited’ girl, who decides that when danger rears its head, it’s best for her to go headlong into it because she’s independent! and spirited! and her own woman! Let’s ignore the fact her partner has been training his entire life to deal with said danger. Yeah.
As I was reading through these books, I kept getting that ‘uh oh’ feeling when our heroine, Elysabetta, would face something dangerous. And, to my joy, she was mature enough, smart enough, and well written enough that she never tipped over into that annoying bratty spirited girl bit. She was almost painfully good, but that was tempered with a decided potential for darkness inside her that made the story arc fascinating to read. Actually, both Elly and Rain, the hero, battled with interior demons, and they both made some pretty bad decisions at times. That kept the books fresh for me as the stories unfolded.
It’s epic fantasy (at least I would classify it that way), so you know there are going to be heroes, but it’s not always who you expect. There were also a lot more character deaths than I expected - and while sad, that added dimension and reality to the story.
Overall, this was a great series