I really wanted to like this book, it has a female heroine, magic, and a dog…all of the ingredients for a book that I would usually thoroughly enjoy. Instead, this book was a major flop as far as I’m concerned…definitely neither legendary or mythical.
So, why did I give it three stars, considering the fact that I didn’t really enjoy it? For starters, the writing itself was good, very detailed and straight forward. Ms. Simlett did an excellent job of building her alternate universe, with its complex class system and reasons for civil unrest. Secondly, I did develope a soft spot for the heroine, Leonie, because she was doing her best to be strong and self-sufficient, despite being woefully unprepared for life in another universe. Finally, I liked the theme of the necessity of standing up against wrong-doing and backwards institutions like slavery, which were artfully explored under the guise of Leonie’s soul-binding to her new guardian, Korren.
Beyond that, it took a lot of willpower for me to make it through this book. I assume that there will be more to come on Korren and Leonie romance-wise in future books, but their chemistry in this book did not make me want to read the rest of the series. I kept waiting for a definite, mutual romantic spark…but it never materialized, leaving me disappointed. Also, although I usually try to steer clear of any type of spoiler, the dog in the book does die…rather unnecessarily (in my opinion)…which just left a bad taste in my mouth. Leonie’s magic also continues to be a no-show, which made sense for much of the book, but became trite by the end. Ironically, my overall dislike for this book stemmed from the relative lack of advancement in the characters and the plot, which was most likely caused by the fact that so much time was spent on setting up the universe and society in which the events were taking place.
Ultimately, I probably will give the second book in the series a try, because I do believe in giving second chances. As I mentioned, all the ingredients for a good story are present, and the stage is set to resolve some of my criticisms. I just hope that this time Leonie becomes a girl worthy of myth and legend!