Deeply immersive and thrilling…
Bridenstine creates a fascinating, lush world with a touch of romance and magic, featuring constantly interesting characters in her Devotion duology. In Alliance, the first volume in the duology, the evil Emperor Charr is capturing magical creatures for entertainment. When the stunningly beautiful Ranamayve, the daughter of the elves’ High King Aeribor and the heir to the throne, is taken from her land, she finds a kindred soul in Bozek, a half-ogre captured by the Emperor’s bounty hunters. For Bozek, it is love at first sight. But will Ranamayve be able to see past his beastly form and realize what he means to her? The second and the final volume in the series sees Bozek and Ranamayve go their separate ways. While Bozek and Garik leave to join Bozek’s ogre tribe, Ranamayve sets out to convince the complacent elves to join forces with other Races against Emperor Charr’s tyranny. Bridenstine draws themes and plot points from the beauty and the beast fairy tale, constructing a well-developed world and complex relationships. Ranamayve’s savvy portrayal as a passionately fierce person who is trying to figure out her own place in the world makes her an endearing heroine. Bridenstine’s third-person omniscient narration skillfully portrays the young elf’s initial disdain and later potent grief as she struggles with her captivity. The rebellious, headstrong, and searching Bozek is a memorable hero. The malevolent Emperor Charr is intimidating as an antagonist. His magical might may seem to leave Bozek and Garik hopelessly outmatched, but the friends’ grit and boundless resilience prove that they’re not the ones to be taken lightly. Through Bozek’s story, Bridenstine poignantly delves into themes of identity, social shaming, bullying and fitting-in along with strength, determination, will, and courage. Bozek’s beastly form is never used as a prop: he and Ranamayve develop a profound bond that transcends race and social norms. The palpable and steadily building tension keeps the pages flying. Uniting a beastly hero and a stunningly beautiful heroine who is equal parts fierce and vulnerable, this romantic fantasy shines by serving realistic conflict alongside vivid settings. Readers will revel in this.
Alliance: Devotion Duology Book 1
Price $14.99 (Hardcover, $9.99 Paperback, $7.50 Kindle edition
Devotion: Devotion Duology Book 2
Price $23.99 (Hardcover, 8.88 Paperback, $7.52 Kindle edition