J. Leigh Bralick
Star Rating: 3.5 Stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
For 16-year-old Merelin Lindon, the only secret her family ever had was the reason behind her father's mysterious disappearance, four years ago. But when an old family friend gives her a small, strange metal circle that once belonged to her father, Merelin discovers just how deep the family secrets run. Without any warning, she finds herself swept into a foreign world mysteriously linked to Earth's mythical past — a world with no remembrance of its own history, tottering on the brink of a devestating war with an enemy it cannot recall.
As Merelin begins to understand her own place in this world, she learns that her father may have held the key to unraveling all the mysteries. With the help of a fascinating and sometimes infuriating young man named Yatol, she chooses to hazard everything, to suffer things she never imagined, in a foolhardy quest to rescue her father and save his people.
But it may cost her more than she can imagine...
What a world, what a world! J. Bralick portrays such a vivid, imaginative world that is easy to visualize. The characters are memorable, believable, lovable, hatable (is that a word?), and strong. The writing is very, very good, descriptive without being over-bearing.
The male characters are just so...male. The female character (really, there's only one to speak of through most of it), is both weak and strong. Strong politics, though maybe just a tad reminiscent of Lord of the Rings. Great, unexpected ending.
So as much as I loved this book, you may be wondering why only 3.5 stars. Let me tell you.
First, and this is really just my opinion, the names were hard to master. I spent much of the first part of the book struggling with names rather than paying attention to the story. It's me, not you, and I know some of you may be saying...yeah? so? Some people love that...I don't, personally. So this, really, is a little thing. Not worth down-grading a 1/2 star.
Merelin seemed to spend a lot of time passing out or crying. Total girl. Yuck.
I thought I was going to swoon over her brother...the first chapter set him as cool and languid, like a tall drink of water...but that magic didn't carry though the whole book. He ended up being pretty ordinary.
What bothered me the most is that I felt like I went through most of the book in a fog. I finished the book, and I still have no clue what Merelin's gift is. I mean, and here's the foggy part, she'd be doing something, end somewhere else after blacking out, not knowing what she did. I'm really, really not sure what she was doing, why she was so important, or what she contributed to the mission. Maybe it's just me being obtuse. Maybe I just didn't get it.
Despite this, I really am going to get the next book and continue the journey.