No, I'm not talking about the current state of affairs. Rather, this is the environment surrounding the latest ebook I read.
|Cover Art by Jennifer Cox|
A Flight of Marewings, Wyld Magic: Book 1, is a fantasy novel written by Kristen S. Walker.
So what's it about?
Korinna's life was simple: She ran the estate that her father, the duke of Kyratia, had gifted to her mother, and she did it well. That all changed one day, though, when the shade of her father appeared, giving her warning of his death. Korinna hurried to ready the estate for visitors, knowing soldiers would be there soon: Though an illegitimate daughter, she was also his only living child.
She's taken before the council by Galenor, the warlord and marewing rider charged with keeping Kyratia safe, a man that she's been promised to. They expect to marry and rule Kyratia together. But the council has other plans...
In A Flight of Marewings, Walker creates a magical hybrid: part horse, part demon. The result? Dangerous horses with sharp teeth and wings reminiscent of those on a bat. The creatures are intelligent, strong, graceful, and deadly. Few can tame one, and a marewing will never accept another rider. They're fierce, distrusting and quick to anger.
Nothing like the pegasus of legend.
Walker did a fabulous job of creating realistic and fascinating creatures. I fell in love with the marewings, as well as some of the other creatures she dreamed up.
But! There were others that I saw as vicious and cruel. The wyld was a dangerous place, and protection from it, through the grace of the allfather, Deyos, was essential.
These creatures - all of them - breathe.
They come alive for the reader in all of their glory. It's quite obvious that the author spent a great deal of time researching each individual quality that these beasts displayed. They were highly believable, and when picking them apart, I was able to see, in many cases, which real-life plants and animals they were based on.
And the characters?
Yep. They were realistic, as well. Especially Korinna, the protagonist. I found myself bound to her, needing to know that everything would work out. She wasn't just a character, she was real. Her worries were mine. Her fears, her joys, her frustrations, her achievements. All of it.
Indeed, this was on its way to becoming a Treasured Tome.
My feelings for Korinna were so intense that I cried. I had great, gushing waterfalls of tears that turned my eyes puffy. This caused me to hide from prying eyes so that I wouldn't have to explain myself. This happened not once, but three times. Powerful stuff.
So what happened?
The last chapter happened. That last chapter was basically an epilogue. Unfortunately, it was too good at wrapping up loose ends, if that makes any sense. Everything fit together so well that it drew me away from wanting to read another book. I didn't feel that I had any need to do so. The mystery was removed.
This is unfortunate, because I was head over heels in love with the majority of the book. Granted, this isn't an ebook that someone with knowledge of battle strategy would be happy with, but on a personal, individual level, this ebook shined.
Unfortunately, that last chapter made me feel there was no need to go back for more. There were no questions I wanted answered. I think, perhaps, that if Walker had ended this novel one chapter before she did I would have been raving about it. I think it could have been another Treasured Tome.
It had all the markers of one, after all.
Don't let that last chapter stop you from reading this, however. I mean, seriously... the rest was fantastic. The energy levels in A Flight of Marewings were great, emotions ran high, and the world breathed. I may even read it again, someday, this time stopping before the last chapter... because I think it deserves that.
Remember, it was a single flaw that kept me from awarding Treasured Tome status. Just one. The rest of the ebook was amazing. And who knows? You may disagree with me. You may believe the last chapter was perfect.
So give it a read. It's worth it.
A Flight of Marewings is available on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.