(Cover picture courtesy of Masquerade Tours.)
2013 Bronze Medalist for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror eBook at the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs)
2014 eLit Awards Bronze Medalist for Fantasy/SciFi
Book #1 of the Svatura Series
Ellie Aubrey is a centuries-old gypsy princess whose extraordinary abilities once inspired her Roma ancestors’ fairytales (or nightmares). Along with her twin-brother, Griffin, Ellie has spent most of her life hiding from the Vyusher, a rival tribe who destroyed their entire powerful family. But after a mysterious dream, Ellie risks discovery in order to find and watch over the Jenners, another group of similarly gifted people. She refuses to let them suffer the same fate.
Alex Jenner has come home to protect his family. His adopted mother can sense danger coming, but not who or when. Suspicious of the new girl in town, Alex challenges Ellie in ways that will spark one of two possible outcomes: they’ll spontaneously combust, or she’ll lose control of the one power she’s fought so hard to contain.
When the Vyusher once again threaten everything she holds dear, Ellie will have to face her worst fear, and Alex will have to face an impossible decision. In this fairytale, the dragon that the prince must slay is also the princess who holds his heart.
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook copy in conjunction with the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.]
When I signed up for the Black Orchid blog tour I really wasn’t all too sure about whether I’d like the books or not. However, the thing that convinced me was that I had read Andromeda’s Fall by Abigail Owen as well and loved it. Why not give her other series a try? And let me tell you: I’m so glad I did. It’s just as good as Andromeda’s Fall and I am now a huge Abigail Owen fan.
The beginning made me cringe, I’ll admit. New girl in a small town going to yet another new school after moving around lots. Thankfully this trope was not played straight and soon we learn that Ellie really isn’t all that she seems and neither is the insanely attractive Alex. Things get awesome pretty quickly so don’t be fooled by Blue Violet‘s unassuming beginning!
Ellie is now one of my favourite heroines. Yes, she can agonize over Alex but she has the self-awareness to at least realize that he’s a college student and he’s probably not going to be interested in his little sister’s new high school aged friend. When she realizes that the Jenners also have abilities similar to hers, her first instinct is to protect them, no matter how coldly Alex treats her. I think the most interesting part about Ellie’s character was her second ability, the one that terrifies her the most. Abigail Owen really works hard to not only portray her obvious fear of it but also to portray the temptation to use it, especially when the Vyusher come knocking.
I really just loved the world-building in Blue Violet. Not only are the different abilities unique and pretty darn cool, there are believable backstories for even the villains like the Vyusher. Of course there are still a couple of questions about abilities and such but this really is only the first book in the series and all of the most pressing questions are answered. In the beginning we learn pretty quickly of Ellie and Griffin’s abilities, which is refreshing considering writers’ tendencies to drag things out for as long as they can. Not so in Blue Violet!
Now, with a blurb that focuses on the inter-character relationships you’d think this would be more of a slow paced novel. It’s definitely not. While it is character driven to a large extent, you’re never going to get bored as both the personal drama and dangerous outside forces come together to create one heck of an epic climax. And there’s just a little cliffhanger so you’re eager to read the next book.
All in all, this is definitely not your typical urban fantasy novel and I can’t recommend it enough. Seriously, go buy it!
I give this book 5/5 stars.