4.25 stars. This was such a good surprise. I’m a fan of fantasy, so I was happy to see this book amongst the releases for this month. While this is set in a fantasy universe, the heart of this story is the romance. This is a debut book and I am impressed with the quality of the writing, I was immediately hooked and I will be reading more by this author.
There are two worlds that exist in parallel and are separated by the veil. One world resembles earth and is inhabited with humans while the other is inhabited with all kinds of magical creatures including the guardians. The task of the guardians is to guard the veil so the parallel worlds remain stable. The worldbuilding was good. It’s not very excessive as the story really focusses on the romance, yet you get enough information to understand the world that is created and more importantly you get to know the guardians. I loved how the guardians do not resemble humans in their appearance, although they can take up a human appearance (one of the two mains looks and lives like a human for most of the book). Another thing that is very different from humans are their relationships. From birth two guardians are destined for each other, although they get to know their significant other (their arima) later in life. I’ve read quite a lot of fantasy and paranormal books with destined love, but this was a bit different from what I’ve read before. I won’t go into detail, because of spoilers, but I liked it, it’s well thought out.
Somebody who doesn’t like this bond is Gia. In fact, she resents it and is about to marry a human. Luna on the other hand, has been pining for her arima all her life, as guardians feel incomplete without their arima. So, when they finally meet and Gia rejects her, Luna’s crushed. Did I mention the level of angst in this book? Well here you have it, there is boatloads. Destined to be together, but rejected nonetheless, left feeling physically and emotionally incomplete. Of course, Gia also has this attraction towards Luna, but she has her reasons to reject it. This is where the book became a bit frustrating for me at times, I understood Gia, but she is so frustratingly stubborn, making everybody miserable (including herself) that I sometimes wanted to smack some sense into her. Luna is a saint, she even becomes friends with Gia’s fiancé, and this made Gia’s behavior even more difficult to accept. However, I found myself wanting to keep on reading and I was happy I did, as in the end, the growth of Gia’s character was worth it.
As a fantasy fan I enjoyed the universe that Lawrence created and could read more about this world and its magical beings, so I was happy to see that there will be a second book in this universe. As for this book, this was an excellent debut full of romance and angst!
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