Sunday, 1 December 2013

Review: The Prophecy by Erin Albert

Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He's grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear...not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash's secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.

I got sent this book from the author in exchange for a 100% honest review, thank-you Erin!

When this landed in my hands I was so excited that I read it in one sitting. I knew Erin before reading her book, through twitter, and this amazed me. As soon as I finished I fangirlishly tweeted her about Nash - he's mine, all mine. I MEAN IT, hands off. I've gone back and forth for ages trying to write this review, but nothing seemed to show how good this book actually was. From fangirlish rantings to high character analysis I was stuck. The truth is that for a debut novel this book is amazing, the characters were well developed, and the author seemed to truly know her characters. I'm still unsure of how to tell you why I loved this book and why you should read it but here goes...

I absolutely loved this book, and all its characters. From the plot to that touch of romance, I was hooked on this book from the beginning. It was like Throne of Glass all over again. Starting off with Layla the female protagonist - I loved the way her thoughts and personality were portrayed in the novel (you might be hearing the words "I loved..." a lot). She was strong willed and everything a Vanguard should be, I would imagine. Again, this was a bit like welcoming home Calaena, they were both separate entities but had the same characteristics that I absolutely adore in female protagonists. Though Layla is a bit quieter than Calaena (in a good way!) and without the Assassin's title. 

Some of my favorite characters were Layla, of course, Samson, Grant and Vespa. Again, they all had such distinct personalities, we don't see too much of Samson in the book, but I have a feeling that later in the series he will be more involved. But with such good characters in a novel, surely there must be evil ones to balance them out? Yes, most definitely. I don't want to spoil too much, but lets just say that there are a few evil people in here that you'll have death wishes for. 

The build up of the world that the book was set in could have used a little more detail, but the introduction and use of the un-peaceful (maybe a bit of an understatement) atmosphere between Etherea and Vanguard was spot on and flowed well with the plot. It wasn't just background location, which I often loathe in a book. And everything had a point, nothing led to a dead end, or was 'excess baggage' in the novel. But it was not predictable either (except for the romance bit, but more on that later!) The powers that each kingdom had intrigued me to no end, the Ethereal's skill to create Alterations in people's minds, and the Vanguard's super strength.

On the first few pages I had to get used to the terminology, but once they were in my head it was so easy to follow and became a part of my general dialogue. The general description within the novel was just on par for my tastes. Sometimes there is too little or too much detail that it becomes boring. But I can say very audibly that there was never a dull moment in this book, even when not in an action-y scene.

Now, finally, onto the romance. Nash; we first meet him saving Layla, I mean, who doesn't love a guy who saves a girl? But really, he's sweet and mysterious, and we learn more about him throughout the book, I JUST LOVE HIM SO MUCH. Then Wil, the Prince of Etherea, might seem to cause some complications, if you're starting to think that there's a love triangle here, STOP, STOP, STOP - with Layla being the so called Fulfillment for a Prophecy, it is her duty, and Wil's, to marry (they're betrothed in the book) and make the prophecy come true, consequently bringing peace between Etherea and Vanguard. Okay, so maybe there's a little bit of a love triangle, but its not your stereotypical one. Again, I love Nash, but Wil... he's so sweet and wonderful and lovely, both guys are equally swoon-worthy. Time to pick a team ladies. 

This book gave me so many feels that it was unreal, I even shouted out 'No!' once I'd finished the book, for two main reasons; 1) "IT CAN'T BE OVER, NOT YET" and 2) Erin left two main things happening at the end and I'm still thinking how it effects all the characters and what might happen in the next book. Also... MAJOR cliffhanger, which I hated... and loved. Ugh, I want the next book now, but the ending was great as well... I was emotionally unstable throughout this entire novel, laughing, crying, flailing, you name it, I was doing it.

I definitely recommend this if you are a fan of YA Fantasy, actually, even if you aren't, go read this book, its so awesome that everyone should read it. NOW. GO READ IT. Please. This is without a doubt one of my favorite debut reads of 2013!

Rating - 4 Bookish Birds

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