It's March! Since we're heading to Ireland for our travel posts, and a certain St. Patrick's Day is coming up, this month will feature fantasy books connected to Ireland. Enjoy, & check out the Book Review page for a re-look back at my review of Karen Marie Moning's popular Darkfever book, set in Dublin.
By Aoife Marie Sheridan
*Minor Spoilers Alert*
I received a copy of Eden Forest in exchange for an honest review
IN A PARALLEL WORD to our own called Saskia, where the people share affinities with the elements fire, air, water, earth, and spirit in correspondence to the fallen angels who founded their planet, an expecting mother flees her lover—the king—and an evil queen to Earth. In present-day Ireland, young Sarajane grows up unaware of her heritage, but agents of the warring king and evil queen draw her to Saskia.
The cover is fantastic and mysterious, so you go into this story not quite knowing what to expect. The story rotates around at least three points of view—all women, which was nice—and I love that Sarajane develops a deep relationship with her mother instead of the mother being MIA, or dead, ect. The idea of affinities for different elements was awesome, as many of my favorite fantasy series like Avatar (TV) and Vampire Academy (Richelle Mead) incorporate this, and I’m looking forward to Sarajane’s exploration of her powers.
The points-of-view, one of which is Bellona, the aforementioned “evil queen” type character, adds some uniqueness to the fantasy. The ending wraps up in an excellent spot to continue the series, and once Sarajane learns to fight, there’s no stopping her. I also liked her relationship with her lady-in-waiting, whom at first is introduced as the beautiful perfect girl but is later developed to have deeper motivations than what Sarajane sees.
However, I did remain a little unconvinced as to how Eden Forest is different from other books in the genre. Even with three viewpoints, I found the actions on all of the characters’ parts to be predictable, and longtime fantasy readers may find Sarajane to be a little Mary Sue-ish (destined to save the world, hinted to be the most powerful of all elemental users, ect). A lot of the magic and fantasy world-building is introduced at the beginning of the story, so when it shifts to Sarajane going about her normal life in Ireland, I was pretty impatient for Tristan to show up!
I’m looking forward to the rest of the series, to see what exactly convinced Bellona to take the actions she has today, and to see more of these fallen angels, because those are always fun. Nice, creative start to the series with strong female characters.
Recommended for fans of: Christopher Paolini, Tamora Pierce, Terry Brooks
Upcoming March Book Review: Iced by Karen Marie Moning (both authors have Marie as a middle name, funny!)