Now let go of fears. Give yourself the gift of not attaching to your worries. Show…how you give thanks for this precious life…sing me a song about you.
That one quote (edited cuz, well, spoilers) and the scene that went with it was actually a game changer for me, despite my initial feelings. This one was a random Bookoutlet find, and is one among many I picked up while binge buying fantasy series.
Synopsis: In a world of magic welders known as Mystics, and an inescapable caste system that dictates where you must live out your life, Pomella yearns to learn of the magic reserved strictly for nobles. And Pomella, much to her distress, is far from royal. That is until she receives an invitation from the prestigious High Mystic to become her apprentice. Now, with significant handicaps and a dire consequence if she fails, she must compete against 3 other nobles for the right to be the Mistresses apprentice.
Rating: 6.5/10 Unicorn Horns
I was actually pretty conflicted about this one. It’s a pretty good story, and I love the world set up, but the not so great parts stuck out too much for me to ignore. So I’ll break this up and start with the negative, ending on the positive side.
Main Character Pomella. You know there’s an issue when you’re 170 pages in and still trying to find reasons to like a character. I couldn’t help but be bothered by how immature and downright disrespectful she was. While I actually like snarky, and smart-ass characters, Pomella just came off as someone who is completely self-centred. Most of these actions are done under the guise of “independence”, which I was attempting to make the stretch to understand, but then her actions not 2 chapters later completely undermine all that. Which brings me to the second negative.
The romance. Nothing wrong with it in and of itself. I didn’t mind the hints of romance at the beginning, the issue came up later. It all eventually just started to feel really out of place considering Pomella’s situation, and her constant need to make her own way by herself- something she voices throughout the story. A. Lot.
The world building was easy to follow, and we learn along with Pomella, which was nice and info-dump free. From the abundant and mysterious spirit-like animals in the forests, to the nature filled settings, their environment is something I loved reading about.
While the story line, could maybe count as both, as it has it’s up and downs, overall I enjoyed it. It was the story and the music centred magic that kept me going when Pomella made me want to stop. Unfortunately the most amazing part of this story is in the last 7 or so chapters, but with some significant character growth from Pomella those chapters alone made me think it was worth reading.
Lastly there was the other characters. It was really refreshing to read a straight up fantasy featuring such a diverse cast of characters. While I don’t feel there was much depth to them, they were all undoubtedly more interesting than Pomella. In fact, one of the major balms to putting up with Pomella was the alternative male POV, Sim. His attachment to Pomella (something that’s put out there from the first couple pages) will forever boggle my mind, but was otherwise the more interesting of the two. But of course there was the game changing character. This is the one behind the above quote who’s existence made me change my mind about writing this book off. Of course they don’t appear till well into the book, but even if Pomella didn’t show significant growth with their help, this character would have made me want to read more just to hear more about them.
So, I Will of course be picking up the next instalment July next year. But would only recommend this if you’re more of a story driven reader.