Digital Reads Reviews

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I like fairy tales and mythology in an urban setting. Hence I loved the concept of this story. I felt as if I were binging on a television series where each chapter, with a humorous heading, felt like an episode.

Tala negated spells. Prince Alexei of Avalon was in hiding after the war with Snow Queen which caused his kingdom to freeze. The Snow Queen too had disappeared. But the appearance of the firebird at Tala’s place changed the dynamics of the equation. Now Alex, Tala, and the rest had to go to Avalon to fight the Snow Queen.

My first book by author Rin Chupeco, I was quite excited to lay my hands on it. As I turned the pages, I realized the hard truth. It would be a difficult book to review. I stood at the precipice and tried to find a balance in the prose. Not knowing how to write a review, I decided to make a list.

There were a few things I liked; it reminded me of one of my favorite television series Once Upon A Time. The author cleverly transformed all the known fairy tales as subplots of the story. The characters were varied and diverse, each with their own ways of fighting. The firebird, as a weapon, added to the fun of it.

I have always loved villains more than the heroes. The Snow Queen was all I thought her to be. She was foreboding, and she really made the gang work hard to kill her. Her character added spice to the story. The twists were interspersed well, some of them did roil the insides of the main character. Social issues were touched upon which were valid in today’s times.

There were a few confusing things, maybe it was because I was not well and my brain synapses were slow. I didn’t understand the rules of magic. There were too many things told to me. The dialogues too felt a bit off, there was no zing. The worldbuilding initially was all over the place but settled down later. Same with the number of characters.

Things in Avalon were much better, I enjoyed the story much more when it was set in the magical Kingdom. The last few chapters really went hopping. The fight between the gang and Snow Queen and her minions made the story so exciting. The last line of the epilogue was a game changer, for sure!!

Overall, I stood at a balance about this book. I would say it was a good read but could have been so much better.

I received a free ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, and this is my journey into its pages, straight from the heart!! STRICTLY HONEST AND UNBIASED.

All my reviews can be read here

Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends.

And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated….

Publication Date: February 2020

25 Responses

    1. Jules, I am. Better but I get exhausted too frequently. I am. In bed unable to get up as I am constantly tired.
      Thank you 💞 for your kind wishes

    1. I still love fairy tales, those were the first English tales perhaps. My dad’s friend in Russia got the book for me when I was a few months old. So that was my first international gift…

  1. I read one book by this author and it was good, but long and a bit confusing for me. I totally get what you are trying to say. Nice review Shalini.

          1. Lol – Means you all are hardened. Here they get fear, and i really dont know why. There are so many antibiotics, even in the meat we daily eat.-) Best wishes, Michael

  2. I am far too lazy for all that world-building. I hope you are getting some rest between books.

  3. I like balance of your review. Sounds like it was pretty decent overall though. Fairytale retelling… nice.
    How are you today? Sounds like you and me both were down at the same time!

      1. Oh no. Missy, you are supposed to be having a healthier year this 2020!!!!
        Where’s your salt water? Your turmeric?
        Get stronger and stay well!!!
        Mine was just a really bad cold virus that end up causing a mild sinus infection. Mostly better now.

        1. Mine was a severe bacterial lung infection. My niece had then I then parents. So it was a terrible time. It’s only been a day since I have been able to sit for a few hours…

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