Today’s book is the first in a series by Karen Furk.
Soul Demons live off the souls of the living.
When Haydan’s home world is invaded by a soul demon seeking an item shrouded in myth and legend, his father evicts him and sends him to safety. His chosen one and warrior should provide reassurance and sanctuary, but neither appears to be working very well. Just when he thinks matters cannot get any worse his scheming grandmother arrives. She has her own plans that appear to involve him, none of which bodes well.
Diego feels confident he has the soul demon under control. Overlooking his devious mother’s involvement, he fails to appreciate that he is not only storm rider elder, but also an elven prince and certain debts are about to become due.
Lavinia worries about her grandson, but also who she left behind in the elven realm a long time ago. Tallin thinks she abandoned him and he is livid. She has everything under control, including Tallin…at least that is what she thinks.
They all need to learn afresh who to trust. With a soul demon on the rampage, an unleashed, angry and betrayed elven king and a long-forgotten mask surfacing, what could possibly go wrong?
The past is about to catch up with all of them. Nothing is going to go as planned because the mask and the gods have other ideas.
This is a tricky book for me to review, because my head and my heart are somewhat conflicted over it. My heart loves discovering the new worlds created by authors like Karen Furk, but my head struggled to reconcile the limited information that is provided about this new world. I found I was spending more time trying to understand the relationships and the set up of this world than I was actually becoming invested in the characters. Following a blog post in which Karen Furk addressed this point (which can be read here), I do understand the reasoning behind the limited information provided, and obviously she has spent a lot of time on building a world which I think could be quite wonderful as the series unfolds, but sadly it did detract a little from the enjoyment of this book for me. I think I am just too impatient to know all the secrets of new worlds as soon as I discover them.
Another point that I feel I should mention, but which again is cleared up in the author’s blog post, is the relationship between Haydan, Maya and Arianna. Again this is something that my head and my heart differ on. My head knows that strictly speaking all three characters are the same age and they have all chosen each other, and each have their own vital part to play in the relationship. However, my heart still finds a particular scene where Haydan, (in his adult form) has to discipline Arianna (in her true nine year old form). I should say that this has nothing to do with the fact that it is an adult man exert his power over a young girl. I would find the level of dominance displayed in this scene equally troubling if the roles were reversed and it was an adult woman and a young boy. Having read the author’s blog post, I do understand the relationship between storm rider, warrior and chosen one better, but this scene in particular still doesn’t sit comfortably with me.
Anyway, enough of that. On to the parts I loved. Once Haydan and co ventured into the fae realm, I found I could settle in and really enjoy the writing. I am a huge fan of books about the fae, and Karen Furk’s version, with it’s hidden creatures and thrill of the unknown, is a beautifully developed world. I found I really fed off of Arianna’s excitement at being allowed to explore a new realm. I felt very drawn to Diego’s wild free rider side, and could really get a sense for the faeries prince inside of him. I loved his battles with Akir at various stages of the book too. Tallinn, for me, was also a perfect representation of fae royalty, with his unpredictable nature and fierce mood changes.
Now I know a little more about the background to this series, and how things will slot together as it progresses, I feel that the series has a lot of promise, and the author has clearly put a lot of time and effort into creating a world that I think will turn out to be quite brilliant. Despite the misgivings I mentioned at the start of this review, I am definitely intrigued to see how everything works out.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Karen Furk loves fantasy stories. She has done ever since she was a small, lonely child with an over active imagination. She’s particularly fond of stories that are crammed full of magic, mayhem and magical creatures. Karen’s background in marketing laid the foundations for her writing career which began after a serious bout of depression. No longer able to contain her over active imagination, the stories finally flowed onto a page. She aims to surprise and delight with the characters and worlds she creates. She lives in the North West of the UK with her husband, two boys and a hamster called Rufus (Yes, a girl hamster with a boy’s name. Don’t ask, she just embraces the crazy!). Visit her at karenfurk.co.uk or find her on social media and say hello – she’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest under the user name karenfurkauthor.
Many thanks to Karen, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book. Don’t forget to have a look at the other blogs taking part in the tour.