Saturday, May 10, 2014

Review - Mistwood by Leah Cypess

  Mistwood (Mistwood, #1)
Genre: Fantasy 
Published: April 2010 
Hardcover: 304 pgs

The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwod.
But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat.

Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.
Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

While I had heard mixed things about this books before picking it up, I still had high hopes based on the cover and the synopsis really intrigued me. While I did like it and enjoy it overall, there are a lot of flaws in this book. It was about what I was expecting based on what I had heard. There was a solid story with a few things that did not work for me, but I'll get to that in a moment.  The story was dynamic and interesting, but the ending was really confusing. I really think this book would have benefited if it had a few more pages. Things wrapped up really quickly towards the end of the book and I think it would have helped a few of the other issues...

Overall I had 3 main issues with this book. First there was a lack of world building that distracted me from the story. It felt like only two locations existed in this world: the palace and Mistwood Forest. I needed more to keep me rooted in the story. Second, things happened too easily. Even though our main character was supposed to be missing some of her powers, everything was easy to find and accomplish. Every problem had an easy solution. I wanted her to struggle a little more. Finally, the characters were hard to connect to for me especially the main character. Isobel isn't supposed to be human which makes her "Other" already. However, it was really hard to like her. Instead of making her "Other", I thought Cypess just made Isobel stuffy and rude.

There were moments of promise in Cypess' writing which made it even harder that I did not enjoy this book as much as I hoped.  I did really enjoy the writing and there was so much potential for this story to be really good. The writing was actually really engaging. The story kept moving and I did read this book in an afternoon. I've already read Nightspell which is the companion novel to this one and thought that was a big improvement in a lot of ways. With that in mind, I think maybe Cypess may just need time and experience to get a better story into print.

I'm going to continue to read books by Leah Cypess because this book is by no means bad and I see a lot of potential in her to become a really good fantasy author. I know she has another book coming out soon (if its not out already) and I hope to check that out soon.

Rating: 3/5 

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