Thank you to the author for the review copy in exchange for an honest review!
Book: The Keepers of Verdorso: A Finding of Kin by L.A. Millett
Release Date: October 13th 2017
Tags: Fantasy / New Adult / Magic / Element Based Powers
“Women do not make their own choices in this world; every woman needs a good marriage to succeed in life.”
Constrained by her father’s dictating rules, Nataleena flees in the middle of the night. A strange lure sees her travelling to a land she had never heard of before. Captivated by The Verdorso Woods, Nataleena is unaware of the true danger growing and an ancient treaty soon to be broken. The Keepers of Verdorso must find who is behind it all before war begins and Verdorso is lost.
A Finding of Kin is, when you glance at the synopsis, a standard fantasy. With a young woman running away from an arranged marriage and into a strange new land. Unfortunately the book could not move away from that overall.
I am just going to start this review with what bothered me right from the start. The writing isn’t as polished as it could be and in places desperately needed an editor. There were sentences strung together with comma’s that didn’t work or that created impossible long sentences. It made for a awkward read, trying to see where a sentence should end and a new to begin. It got better throughout the story but even at the end there were still a few sentences like that scattered through.
Adding on to that is that this story is told in third person ominous. While we mostly follow Nataleena there were paragraphs and thoughts of other characters in the same scene that she clearly couldn’t know. Ominous is one of the hardest ones to write and as such it clearly shows the authors ambitions. Unfortunately this along with the huge cast that she set herself up with to juggle in scenes (12-16), it was just too ambitious and it made a lot of the characters go flat.
Having said that I think Nataleena was a very strong character that clearly didn’t want to be the damsel in distress. She didn’t have any powers like the rest, but certainly wasn’t willing to lie down and take anything from anyone. She was curious and used her mind or wanted to learn. All good trades. But she is a bit clueless or do I dare say, a bit naïve. I can’t quite devise from the text if she led a very sheltered life or not. In fact we get super little background on her life. Just small bits here and there. This has to do with the revelation that is being led up to I am sure. (Which by the way, that cliffhanger was infuriating grr. Though I have a good idea in which direction it is going to go.)
The world of Verdoso is divided in a few different areas with 4 different kin (water, fire, wind and earth). I liked how some of them had additional powers and how there were various own species and such. However I still have a lot of questions regarding how it is possible that Nataleena had not heard of Verdorso if it was only a day’s boat ride away, and that a boat of Verdoso could lay at the docks nearing Nataleena’s initial home. You would think there would have been rumors, especially with others like Nataleena having visited the country or area before. Adding on to that I don’t understand how there could be a different moon cycle in Verdorso than where Nataleena grew up considering they are still on the same planet.
So overall I didn’t love this book. I can see the author’s ambitions with this and see some potential in the world and Nataleena as a character, but it never once reached its full potential.