Let me preface this review by stating that I am friends with the author of this book. However, that is not going to keep me from leaving an objective review of this awesome YA fantasy novel :)
16-year old Emily has accepted her fate with each weakening beat of her heart, but after her best friend's brother and sister arrive in town and turn out to be more than what they appear, Emily's life is turned upside-down. When their friendship includes confronting wizards who harbor dark secrets and dancing with an elf prince, Emily discovers there are some things still worth living for.
This book struck a chord with me from the beginning. It has so many elements running through it simultaneously it can almost seem a little overwhelming, but Kelly Riad does a great job letting the story line flow naturally. It is very easy to keep up with everything that is going on and her ability to weave fantasy elements into our every day world was seamless.
I could spend a great deal of time going through all the characters, but that would make this post VERY long. I'm going to let you get to know the major players:
Emily is the only child of a workaholic father and a functional alcoholic mother. She is diagnosed with a heart condition that she knows is slowly killing her. Though, previously a member of the "in" crowd, Emily has withdrawn from her circle of friends in recent times. I love her sense of individuality.
Dafne, Jarrad, and Karawyn are exiled elven royalty who live in hiding among humans. Their kingdom was besieged by the Dark Elf King and they were forced to flee with their lives.
Jabari is the "grandfather" of the three elves. In truth, he is a trusted advisor to the royal family and has stayed in the Human realm with them to ensure their protection.
Aerath, dark elf prince, who is largely responsible for the siblings' flight from their homeland.
Through some twists and turns, Emily finds herself accompanying this family back to their homeland of Arèthane. I was awed by the author's ability to create an entire world outside of Suburban USA. I am a HUGE fan of fantasy novels and really enjoy picturing the world in my mind's eye while reading. It is full of adventure, epic battles, and of course, romance!
All in all, this book is incredibly fast paced and well written. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! I can't wait for book 2!