Monday, August 13, 2012
"Soulbound" by Heather Brewer
From Goodreads: "Tril is a world where Barrons and Healers are Bound to each other: Barrons fight and Healers cure their Barrons' wounds in the ongoing war with the evil Graplar King. Seventeen-year-old Kaya was born a Healer, but she wants to fight. In Tril, and at Shadow Academy, where she is sent to learn to heal, it is against Protocol for Healers to fight. So Kaya must learn in secret. Enter two young men: One charming, rule-following Barron who becomes Bound to Kaya and whose life she must protect at all costs. And one with a mysterious past who seems bent on making Kaya's life as difficult as possible. Kaya asks both to train her, but only one will, and the consequences will change their lives forever."
Admittedly when I first got this book to read and review I was a bit hesitant to do so namely because of the cover- what can I say? I am a bono fide cover whore and this cover? Well, it didn't do anything for me, therefore resulting in me projecting those "meh" feelings onto the book. However, as I began to delve deeper and deeper into the book I began to realize that my initial reaction of the book was a silly assumption at best- and we all know what happens when you assume. ;) This book was SUCH a pleasure to read and in all honestly I am trying REALLY hard to write a coherent review/ keep my excitement, mainly in the form of jumping up and down, whilst SQUEEing about how you have to run out and buy this book RIGHT NOW, contained. Oh, and that cover? The only weak point about this book IMO, I can literally not think of a single complaint about the characters, plot, setting, essentially all of the important parts of this book.
What made this book so successful was three things: the strongest female character I think that I have EVER encountered before, TWO utterly swoon-worthy male characters, and a love triangle like no other.
As many have come to know (since I almost ALWAYS complain about it) heroines don't often do anything for me, I feel that they are too underdeveloped (especially when compared to their male counterparts), that they are too reliant upon the males in their lives, etc., however I did not find that whatsoever when it came to Kaya. As mentioned, she is without a doubt the strongest female character I have ever read before- mentally, physically, and emotionally. I think that compared to a lot of female characters I have read of over the years that she gave the most thought to everything that she did, she made informed decisions that benefited all of those around her in some way, shape or form, as opposed to jumping into something with seemingly little thought. She always strove to be better and not once complained when things didn't go her way. Furthermore, she didn't allow herself to be guided only by her heart, she also used her brain- she didn't turn into a gigantic puddle of mush as soon as one of the boys so much as showed her an ounce of attention.
As for Darius and Trayton, the two main males of the book? SWOONFEST! But what is perhaps the best about them is the love triangle they present- perchance one of the best I have ever read of. Why I enjoyed this love triangle is that there is ACTUAL competition (as opposed to what I consider to be an unsuccessful love triangle, where it is evident from the get-go who the lead is going to be with, as in the case of Simon, Jace, and Clary)- whenever I thought I was being swayed in one boys direction the other would do something to sweep me off of my feet. At this point in time I don't know who I would prefer to see Kaya end up with. Each of them truly brings out a bigger and better side of Kaya.
All in all, a strong heroine, amazing male characters, strong love triangle, coupled with a fast paced plot and interesting storyline makes this a MUST read and without a doubt the best epic fantasy I have read this year. I literally cannot say enough about this book (I'm not ashamed to admit that even 100 pages into this book I *may* have been shedding happy tears because it was just *that* good)- basically go out and buy it. Or you will regret it. Heather has easily soared to the top of my "authors to keep an eye out for" list- I CANNOT wait to see what she has up her sleeve next!
I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way.