I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Clash of Kingdoms #1
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on December 27, 2016
Source: the publisher
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.
However, it’s not so simple.
The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.
This book was a highly anticipated one for me. And I really enjoyed it… until I didn’t. The beginning was slow, but once it picked up, I really fell into the story. And then a little over half-way through the book, the plot and pace come to a screeching halt and it just dragged. AND THEN, 50 pages from the end, something happened and it just pushed me over the edge. It’s a tired trope that I’m sick of seeing in YA. I can’t explain what it is without spoilers, but if you’ve read the book, you’ll know what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t, you will once you DO (or if you do) read it.
There were a small number of intriguing plot twists, but other than that, there was nothing interesting about this book. I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters, either. And you guys know how character-centric I am, so that was probably the biggest reason I didn’t enjoy this book. I wasn’t feeling the love between the main characters at all. They felt more like just friends and the back and forth with them was ridiculous too. It was frustrating and unnecessary, and seemed like it was only meant to drag things out and add tension where there was none.
There were also a LOT of “duh” moments where something was SO OBVIOUS, it was impossibly to understand how the characters didn’t realize sooner – especially where Britta and her background and “destiny” are involved.
The feel and atmosphere of this book – the woods and the hunting, etc – kind of reminded me of the Grisha trilogy. Even the characters had similarities to the characters in the Grisha trilogy. But the Grisha trilogy is better, IMO. But I guess you MIGHT like this book if you liked the Grisha trilogy… Maybe?
I still gave this 3 stars because I did enjoy the first half of the book and the few plot twists that happened. The author’s writing is gorgeous, as well. But the plot and pacing were slow and drawn out and just not as enjoyable as I’d originally hoped.
Do I recommend this one? I honestly can’t say. I don’t want to turn anyone away from reading it, but this isn’t one I’d ever really suggest if someone asked me for book recommendations. If someone asked me how I enjoyed it, I’d have to be honest and say it wasn’t my cup of tea.
So.. short review was short. But that’s really all I have to say about this one. I was highly anticipating it and I feel very disappointed now. I’m not sure if I’ll read book two or not. It depends on the plot and if any trusted friends read and enjoy it.