Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review: The Battle Sylph

Imagine a world filled with elemental beings, subjugated to human masters. These beings are called sylphs. Each female sylph has a special gift: power over healing, water, air, fire or water. The males are warriors... battle sylphs. Humans can open a portal to the sylph world and if the sylph sees someone worthy of being a master, they'll cross over. But the battle sylphs are being tricked. They see lovely young women in the portal... but when each battler crosses over, the humans kill the female lure and force the battle sylph into the service of a man.

The king's men planned that very scenario to lure a battler for the prince. But the young woman they kidnapped for the sacrifice was more resourceful than they expected. Solie turns the tables and manages to claim the sylph for her own. And instead of subservience through a bond of hatred... her sylph worships her... wants nothing more than to please her.

They make their way out of the kingdom and band with others wishing to live in a new way. In this makeshift community, the sylphs are tied to humans, but they are otherwise free. The many constraints of the kingdom don't exist. And as Solie and her battler grow closer, it creates lasting repercussions not only for them, but for all the sylphs around them.

The author has constructed a rich and complicated fantasy world. But I didn't have any trouble following it. And the more I read, the more I liked it. The secondary characters were every bit as interesting and engaging as the leads, maybe more so... and there were no points that I felt bored or anxious to get back to another POV.

I had only two complaints about the entire thing.  Primarily, I wish Solie were older. She's only 17 and while it's very common for 17 year-olds to be sexually active, it was hard for me to think of her as a woman or a romantic lead. This is even more true with Lizzie --a side character who is even younger and clearly the intended love interest for the next book. (I pray there is a serious time jump.) --The second minor complaint... the battler's name. I never could get past her calling him "Heyou." I get it, but it annoyed me.

Please know that both these peeves amounted to very little in the grand scheme of things. I liked the book a lot --and I'm off to read The Shattered Sylph to see what happens next. 4 1/2 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley
The Battle Sylph
by LJ McDonald
Release Date: March 28, 2010
Publisher: Leisure Books 

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At Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 11:23:00 AM CDT , Blogger JenM said...

I read a novella by LJ McDonald that was set in this world and loved it so when this book went on sale last month I grabbed it. Glad to hear you liked it. It's sitting on my TBR pile and I hope to get to it soon.

At Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 11:25:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

I am on book 3 now and I absolutely love this series. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy romance.

At Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 1:40:00 PM CDT , Blogger JenM said...

Interestingly, I don't usually read much fantasy romance, but every once in awhile one grabs me as this novella did. If you like fantasy romance I have one for you - Master of Crows by Grace Draven. It's got the brooding, outcast, sorceror hero, a crumbling castle, and a heroine who is drab in appearance but with a giving heart and great, undiscovered powers. I loved it.

At Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 1:45:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Fantasy isn't usually my cup-of-tea, either. I read the Tairen Soul books and liked them well enough, but usually I prefer paranormal romance.

This series kind of breaks the mold for me a little. But should I ever have a hankering to dip back into fantasy, I'll keep Master of Crows in mind. I always like getting recommendations!

At Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 9:06:00 PM CDT , Blogger Unknown said...

I agree with ya on Sollie's age. I liked the series though. I started to request Queen off of NetGalley, I'm just not sure if I'll have the time though. I liked the originality of the Sylph's it was something different to add into the mix of books I read. Great review & thanks for sharing!

At Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 9:47:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Vanessa, If you liked this one, you should definitely get Queen of the Sylphs. I just finished it and it was even better!


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