New Author to Love

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Whelp, I have a new author to love and fill my tbr with. Martineau has created a world of magical beasts and the Charmers who tame them. It's truly much more than just that but I have a huge soft spot for book beasts in general so when I read the synopsis and saw that, I was already excited to dive in.

Leena is a Charmer who has been exiled by the Council for something she did not do. Working to prove her innocence she finds herself face to face with the deadly leader of the Cruor, Noc, whose been hired to kill her. Noc has secrets of his own though and Leena may be just what he needs to execute his own agenda.

The world building was really well done and for once I used a map as I read! It actually helped put the different areas into perspective and lend more reality to the journey the characters go on (not to mention the location of certain beasts). I want a Beast Realm in my life. Oh to be a Charmer.

The magic system and the beasts abilities are probably my favorite aspect. The Charmers abilities to sway beasts into accepting a partnership with them was really well done. Each beast is unique and comes with specific things that need to be accomplished to entice a bond. Each beast also has their own magical abilities and did I mention there is a bestiary at the back of the book?! Man I loved the detail, can you tell! There is also the darker side of the magic system that Noc is a part of. Brought back from death and a part of the shadows. Harnessing the shadows abilities was a nice contrast to the goodness and light of the Charmer's world.

Lastly, the characters. Oh the characters. Not only do you develop a sturdy bond with Leena and Noc, but you also fall hard for the side characters and (of course) their beasts. They come with flaws and personalities that flesh them out with their uniqueness and quirks. A little sprinkle of an LGBTQ theme was beautifully interlaced too. There are a few sexual scenes and the romance didn't overtake the fantasy aspect for me. I really liked that. Some parts are a little slow and I did have some questions at the end but I have book two ready and waiting so I am pretty sure I'll get answers soon.

My true rating is a 4.5/5, rounded for Goodreads. Thank you to Sourcebooksfire for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. If you or someone you know enjoys Fantasy or High Fantasy fiction with a little romance (and beasts), then I highly recommend grabbing this one !