on November 20, 2017
Genres: Romantic Fantasy, Fantasy
Source: Personal Copy
New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant “skillfully melds history and legend” (RT Book Reviews) in a brand new series – The Kindred.
To live in the light, they hunt in the dark…
Unparalleled in beauty and daring, Leoma has been raised with a single-minded focus—to wipe out corrupt witches. But when her new target leads her to a discovery that unveils a graver plan from the Coven, she doesn’t hesitate to follow. Yet, she’s not the only one on the hunt. And the sexy, infuriating man who crosses her path could prove to be a distraction—something she’s never encountered before.
Honor and family mean everything to Braith. When his life is turned upside down by the murder of his ward and heir without cause or reason, he has no choice but to turn to vengeance. Until a stunning, dangerous woman continues to thwart his efforts at every turn. Now, he must battle not only his need for revenge but his desire for the female, as well.
Kick-butt heroines, awesome action scenes, and a whole lot of witchcraft. Donna Grant’s Eversong is the first book in the Kindred series, focusing on a group of witch-hunters in Medieval England. Billed as a medieval paranormal romance, Eversong blends both fantasy and historical elements of 1300’s England to set-up what is sure to be an action-packed, nail-biting series.
Unfortunately, I found both the world building and overarching romance to be a bit problematic for me, and I’m unsure if I’ll be seeing this series through to the finish. However, the early reviews on Goodreads look fairly positive, so this could still be a great read for some!
Here are the basics you should know about the Kindred world:
- Witches exist
- All witches in The Coven are bad
- Hunters only hunt witches in The Coven and are neutral towards others.
This actually took a while to understand, as the Hunters call themselves a Hunter Coven (not to be confused with The Coven). Hunters referenced the evilness of witches (even though some Hunters are witches), but what they really meant was that witches working for The Coven are evil. The confusion may have been due to the author’s writing style (or that I’m an easily confused bookworm), but it felt harder than necessary to understand what was supposed to be going on.
Here’s the plot:
Leoma is an orphan who was raised by Hunters. While she has no magic herself, she’s dedicated her life to bringing down The Coven – a need that only intensified after a witch murdered her best friend. While tracking the murderous witch, Leoma encounters Braith – a retired knight also hunting the SAME witch that murdered his ward. Leoma and Braith – both the strong, dedicated warrior types – experience some intense insta-lust and decide to go after the witch together. The two quickly realize The Coven is out to kidnap Braith for reasons unknown and start to enlist the help of magical allies. There is no cliff-hanger; however, this is not a standalone book.
Here’s what I liked:
I’ll be honest that I really struggled with parts of this book as a paranormal romance; however, there were a few things I think readers will appreciate:
- Leoma is a pretty fierce warrior that can easily defeat most guys – including Braith. Yes, she’s painstakingly beautiful; however, she’s denied “special snowflake” status as she had no magical powers of her own. Also, Dana Grant provided amazingly well-written fight scenes to back-up the Leoma’s skills. Bravo!
- The book takes place over multiple points of view – including the villain’s – that slowly start to unfold the story arc for the next novels.
Here’s where I struggled:
The world building was okay, partially because the writing style took some time to get into (see note above). My main issue was the romance itself, as it unfolded in an unrealistic way that I felt to be borderline disrespectful. Specifically:
- Obviously, it made sense that Leoma and Braith would fall for each other and I’m more than fine with insta-lust, but this one felt too over the top. For example, the two characters are thinking things like “not kissing her was the biggest mistake of my life” after knowing each other less than a day.
- Braith makes his move on Leoma only a day after they meet by sneaking-up on her while bathing in a pond. She puts up no resistance after sharing internal dialogue that she doesn’t want to get involved over fears of complicating her mission. Plus, no one seems to mind the total disregard for her privacy.
- Leoma is also a virgin and neither her – or Braith – have any discussion over birth control or the risk of her becoming pregnant. I know it’s fantasy and fiction, but I felt the lack of acknowledgment (especially after sneaking-up on her while bathing) was disrespectful towards Leoma as we’re unsure if she’s even aware of “where babies come from”