This week I read Laura E. Thompson’s book The Burden of Destiny. This follows a younger girl named Isobel as she finds out a big secret about his mother that passed away when she was younger. She finds a small door in the woods when her and her friend, Mauve, are playing. This jumpstarts the whole book.
Isobel grew up with more amped up senses than everyone in her village. She is able to hear everything around her even when it is far away. She is also able to sense when something is off, not a good idea, or if she has a good feeling about something. These senses are basically never wrong and prove to be very helpful during the book.
When Isobel and Mauve go to the small door in the woods they find a little, old lady named Alianda who has all the answers about Isobel’s mother. One of the first things Alianda tells Isobel is that she is a half elf, and that her mother was a very powerful sea elf. To top it all off, Isobel has an evil half sister that is trying to destroy both the elves and the humans. Isobel must go on a journey with her friend Mauve who finds out she is a gifted fighter, and go to defeat her evil halfsister.
Throughout this journey there are many ups and downs. They meet companions, they battle, and most importantly they learn more about themselves that proves to be helpful.
Okay, so, to start off this review I would like to say that with every book about elves and magic each book approaches it completely differently, and it has unique qualities. With this book since Isobel and Mauve know nothing about elves, Alianda tells them the history of elves and Isobel’s mother. This is incredibly helpful for Isobel to get an understanding but also the reader so that we are on the same base as the two young girls. Alianda goes through the four different types of elves and all their characteristics and what makes them different from each other. This was so cool because throughout the book you see this actually play out. Before the journey starts you understand why each elf acts the way that they do and I think it was very important information that the reader gets to learn with the main characters.
At the beginning we see a little image from Isobel’s half sister. We get these little scenes from her half sister, Madeara, to show us what she knows about Isobel’s journey, and what she is planning. I loved these scenes because you could feel that she was starting to get nervous about Isobel but also we had some foreshadowing about what Isobel and her friends are going to have to face. The scenes were very short which I also liked because we didn’t stay away from the drama for too long, but we still get a lot of information.
The characters are very realistic throughout the whole book. When Isobel first finds out she is half elf she doesn’t automatically believe Alianda she goes and fact checks with her dad’s stories of her mother. When Isobel finally believes Alianda, Mauve gets upset because her friend has a cool new secret and she feels ordinary compared to her. Like I said earlier the girls don’t believe her off the bat which makes perfect sense and made it more believable with the girls reactions.
I love that Isobel’s magic doesn’t come so easily to her. She actually has to work at her magic and practice. When on their journey she doesn’t always know what to do and has to ask for help since magic is still new to her. I loved those bits because it wasn’t like all of a sudden she knew everything. She still had to work hard for it and still had to concentrate and think through what she wants to do. I really enjoyed learning the spells with her and trying to see how she was going to solve the problems they were running into.
My last big plus about this book was the descriptions of the different creatures. When the explanation about how the shapatre is able to shapeshift into any animal or being they want comes into conversation Alianda compares it to how elves can only change into one animal for the rest of their lives. While we do not see what animal Isobel turns into I think we might soon! The descriptions of the characters grow every time they group talks to someone knew about them. This means that throughout the book your image of the creatures become more and more detailed.
I can think of one big thing that may be something the reader may not like about the book. The book stops during the first big section of their journey. This means that if you want to continue on their journey with them and see what happens you have to read the second book and so on. Buttttt if you like series then this is definitely one that you should check out!
All around, I really enjoyed this book and am so excited to read the second book. If this seems to be interesting, cool, or any other adjective you should definitely give it a try!
You can find all three books in the series here. Give them a try and let me know what you think of them! Next week I will be reviewing Scattering the Ashes by Paul russel Semendinger.