Warning: may contain spoilers
Wow, this was a quickie! When Carolyn said Rebecca York’s Shattered Magic was going to be quite a short one, I didn’t expect it to be quite so short.
We are introduced to Rowan as she runs away from her life in Valleyhold. She is betrothed to Telman, a man well respected within her community, and something of a hero to the village elders. Rowan and her sister Willow have a differing opinion of him however, and when Telman confides in Rowan of his plans to rule the valley, have her please him in every way a woman can serve a man (oo err missus!) and to have the honour of bearing his children, Rowan decides she has to leave Valleyhold. She makes her way through the sheild surrounding their valley (which keeps them safe from marauders from Arandal who seek to destroy those different from themselves) and into the outside world only to be set upon by a dragon.
Here we meet the hunky Grantland, (who introduces himself a Grant) crown prince and heir to the throne of Arandal, who has come out into the wilderness to get away from it all. He comes to the rescue, fighting the dragon, and then rushes them both into the safety of a near by cave…which the dragon then inadvertently seals them in.
Neither of our main characters wish to divulge who they really are. Rowan’s people are special (they have unusual abilities which leads the other people of Arandal to consider them to be witches), so they ended up running from their homes in Arandal, and setting up their new home in Valleyhold. Grantland doesn’t want Rowan to know who he is, as he is fed up of women fawning over him because of who he is.
There isn’t really that much of a plot as the story is so short! It basically consists of Rowan figuring that if she can seduce Grant, and have him take her virginity (all the while keeping her identity a secret), she can return to Valleyhold and Telman will not want her as his wife. Grant is trying to figure out if he wants to go back to his father’s kingdom, and wait his turn to become king. A little further along in the story they discover that they have a mutual problem and decide to work together to fix it.
I know it’s only a short read, but I really did find some aspects of Shattered Magic quite rushed and some bits of the dialogue a little strange, although as this is the second book I may have missed an important point earlier in the series. One of the first conversations they have is a bit weird. After they introduce themselves, Grant asks Rowan where she is from (ok…that’s normal) but then jumps in with “what gods do you pray to?”. I find this a somewhat odd question to ask a stranger pretty much right off the bat.
I didn’t find either of the characters particularly endearing if I am honest. I can certainly understand Rowan’s need to leave her village and to keep her secrets from Grant, but whereas she comes across quite innocent in some ways, (she is only eighteen, still a virgin, never been out in the big world) in others I find her quite manipulative and sneaky. She often comes across as far older than eighteen too. Grant isn’t much better. A few years older than Rowan, he is fed up of the women of court throwing themselves at him because of who he is. So he bails from his responsibilities only to become the hero saving Rowan from the dragon, but then turns into an arse a bit later in the book when he finds out a bit more about her. But it’s ok as in the end all is forgiven and we have a fairytale ending.
Despite managing to read Shattered Magic quite quickly, it wasn’t a book I was particularly drawn into. It felt quite rushed and I think it could have benefitted from having a little more time spent on building up a stronger plot, and giving the lead characters a little more oomph. There are a few other bits that felt kind of thrown in just to make a section of plot easier but there was no mention of them before or after the event. All in all I would say SHATTERED MAGIC killed an hour or so, and was an easy read but it isn’t something that I would urge you to rush out to get.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- Dark Magic
- Shattered Magic
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