Howdy there fellow bibliophiles! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted; I put myself on maternity leave since I just could not focus on any book no matter how hard I tried! I would never want to do a book or author an injustice…so I spent a month mindlessly looking at magazines while my daughter napped, and my Kindle got a little dusty…but now I’m back, and happy to post about The Namarielle by Julien E. Jamar as my first step back into the ocean of reviewing.
The Namarielle were the ruling family of the land of Lashai, prior to being brutally murdered in their sleep by a warrior people known as the Fontre. For many years it was thought that all of the Namarielle had been killed, as evidenced by the land sickening and dying in many areas, with no sovereign to keep it whole and flourishing. When the Namarielle cries, it rains, when they are angry the wind roars…and what the Fontre had failed to understand, is that they were the cornerstone of the land, and without them, death and decay would set in over time. Yet, in a small borderland community an illegal garden was thriving, and animals seemed to prosper…so perhaps the murderous rampage had not been as successful as previously believed.
The Namarielle is an engrossing and enjoyable book, with richly developed peoples and characters, and a well detailed back story. I didn’t mind staying up late each night to sneak in some reading time, because it moves along so quickly, and rarely gives you a good stopping point because the plot and character development is constant. For the most part the main characters are perfectly nuanced, being neither wholly good nor evil, although at times the romance between the two central characters, Elian and Cassai, was a little bit too innocent and naïve (but of course the upside to that is, this book is appropriate for all ages). Predictably, the book ends on a cliff hanger, with Cassai receiving her first kiss, followed by dire circumstances for one of the main characters, which pits the others in a race against time to save them. As the final scenes play out, we are introduced to the character who may be the ultimate cornerstone: the Hermit, who bears a more than passing resemblance to God (or the Weaver as he is called in Lashai). The Hermit urges Cassai to give up everything, including Elian, to follow him.
The Namarielle is a story of love and loss, the importance of friendships and family, and above all else, the value of justice and fairness. It is the job of the Namarielle to bring order and balance to the land, and only the subsequent books will tell if Cassai is up to the challenge.