Empyrean Chronicles # 1
by Theresa M. Jones
When seventeen year old Lily finds her parents brutally murdered, leaving her broken and alone, she is determined to bring justice to the fairies responsible. Her quest leads her to infiltrate The Empyrean, the land of the Fae where terrifying creatures lurk in every shadow. But with a political rebellion mounting, bloody battles and foreign enemies stand in her way. Alec, a mysterious and secretive fairy, gradually becomes her guide and dear friend in the unfamiliar world, and restores her faith in love.
Disturbing secrets about her parent’s true identity are revealed, causing her to be more involved with the devastating fairy war than she can afford. Her vengeful mission becomes compromised and her growing romance with Alec wavers. She must conquer her fear of the unknown, ignore her grief, and overcome her growing list of enemies if she is to succeed in avenging her parents’ death. Or ever make it out alive.
The opening scenes of this novel are exciting and a little brutal (which really start it off with a bang!), but it does include some graphic violence (so this is not I'd necessarily recommend to anyone in the lower teens). That said, the murder scene of Lily's parents and her discovery of their bodies is a definite grabber. I felt her anger, her loss and her need for something to fill a sudden void--even if it's revenge. I really appreciated the way Lily tackles this life-shattering experience. Although she's sought out on revenge, it's not hateful but rather more confused and hesitant. This gives her a great sense of humanity and makes it even easier to like her and hope she finds the people who did this.
Lily, of course, doesn't have to go this journey alone, but has a strong and fearless companion. The introduction of Alec is well done: mysterious, somewhat dangerous and not necessarily a person who earns instant trust. It doesn't take long to have this facade melt away, little by little. And as he develops, so does the relationship, giving a perfect balance. The romance remains sweet and is built on trust, and although it felt a little jumpy and sudden at times, in general, it was enjoyable.
Although engaging, this book was at times a little hard for me to read. The writing is fine, but not always as smooth and connected as it could be. There were a couple moments where I thought about putting this book down but never could really get myself to do it. I wanted to hang in there a little longer to see what would happen next. And as the book went along, I became more and more invested in Lily's story until I ended up reading this in one sitting and could first leave when I reached the last page.
The world Lily enters is vibrant, some things familiar and some very new. Not only were the surroundings easy to dive into, but we get a glimpse at the daily life of the fairy's--their food, their customs and how they inter-act. This added a nice depth to the world and I had no trouble picturing this unique life as Lily learned about it herself. It's a lovely world!
I can recommend this to fantasy lovers. Despite hiccups, the story still swept me away and had me hoping Lily would make it through. And that's exactly what a good story should do.
Book 2, Enticing Violence, will be available on November 2nd, you can pre-order your copy now!