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River by Ryen Lesli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dear Author, you had me at the dedication! Yes, I am one of those. I will read the dedications, epigraph, foreword, acknowledgements, prologue and anything else you can fit in the front of a book. Because it is part of the book and part of your journey. Here’s to all those people who said “No”, because what you have created here is nothing short of spectacular. Too much profanity? Psssh, that’s what we call keeping it real.
Now let us speak to the actual book. It gave me all the feels. Brought back memories of my own tumultuous upbringing. The struggle of finding yourself in a place where you do not really fit in. Trying to be strong but not knowing exactly how to do that. Don’t mention all the boys! The lustful thoughts of a young woman. The inept flirting too. Those dreaded conversations trying to explain feelings.
All of the above intricacies delicately woven into a world of Fair and Maids and Warriors. The vivid colours, the different environments, the auras and magic all alive in my mind’s eye. And of course, the inclusion of Easter eggs like the reference to the Kardashians and Cinnabon just brings all these elements together to create a very modern view of an ancient culture.
Most of all I love a tenacious spirit. And that is reflected in the way you sculpt your main character, River. Trapped by obligations that she never asked for with a Mother who is self-centered and thoughtless.
I have to mention “Tradition”. As if that was a character all on its own. It bothers me. It agitates me. It makes me want to rebel. I do not like being kept small knowing deep down I can be so much more. I really identify with that.
I’ve read the book in less than 2 days and I’m left devastated! When do I get the next installment? I can hardly wait!
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