I didn't expect much to be honest, but this was a solid tale. The world is fleshed out, the characters are intriguing even though flawed and I immediately went and bought the next one. I'd recommend it.
Alex Lidell offers Air and Ash, the wonderfully imagined YA story for readers of all ages. Nile is a strong and gutsy heroine, with both strengths and weaknesses.
Here’s one excerpt that captures the nature of the Gifted as well as Ms. Lidell’s excellent and descriptive writing style:
“The Gifted have magic in their blood that turns their bodies into living magnets. Five types of magic are known: air, water, metal, stone, and fire. In each case, the afflicted Gifted’s body attracts one of the elements. The attraction in and of itself is deadly only to fire callers, who burn themselves dead long before they have any hope of learning control. For the four other magics, a measure of control is possible but the side effects of having magic are gravely dangerous. Stone callers’ muscles dissolve; water callers’ blood refuses to clot; air callers succumb to fits and convulsion…and metal callers like Clay pay with their minds. My brother is a cripple. The physicians say he will never get better. I don’t believe them. One day, my Gifted twin will come back to me. I’m sure of it, in a way that only a twin can be.”
And this excerpt illustrates not only Ms. Lidell’s talent and imagination, but it also highlights her unexpected humor and sense of fun:
“I sift my memory for her name. Lady Madeline. Yes, Lady Madeline from Eflia North, who spends her days lavishly prancing between courts to inspire people to charitable deeds—preferably ones that bolster her prestige without the inconvenience of work. She also owns the Lyron Herald, a news press with all the integrity of a hungry hyena. When Thad threw her out of Ashing, the Faithful took her back to an Eflian port. The carpenter was obliged to remove one of the bulkheads to accommodate her luggage. Last I heard, she had gone to Felielle and made herself comfortable at court, befriending Felielle’s Queen Leanna in the process.”
So glad to have discovered this author. This is sure to be a fantastic trilogy based on this first book. I love that nothing was rushed, each day and week at sea was detailed and the romance built up so slowly I thought we wouldn’t see any of it by the time the first book was over. So excited to keep reading the net book in this series.... then I will be sure to binge read all the novels Alex has out!
A fantastic story with a wonderful heroine at its centre. It's hard to find a novel where you can completely submerge into the world the author has created. Not a problem in this case! I didn't want to put it and can't wait to follow these characters!