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Thursday, October 27, 2011

eARC Review: Trueblood's Plight by E.S. Lark- 4/5 Cupcakes

TITLE: Trueblood's Plight               AUTHOR: E.S. Lark
PUB. DATE: Nov. 2011                   FORMAT: ebook
SOURCE: from author in exchange for honest review
Trueblood's Plight

Thirty years have passed since the clan’s flight from Tesmar, their beloved gryphon city. Three decades spent searching for safer shores, a place to repopulate and for some, to bury the truth of an age-old prophecy.
Until now.
Ava always knew she was different, from her pale plumage to her silver eyes, but being a Trueblood—a giphen who can use all forms of magic—takes ‘special’ to a whole new level. With overprotective elders and the enemy advancing from the north, Ava struggles to balance her time on and off the battlefield.
But when numerous attempts are made on her life—an attack on the clan, a rift storm and a mage controlling the minds of her friends from afar—Ava fears there’s another just like her, weakened and magic starved, who’ll stop at nothing to use her powers as his own. She’ll have to hone her skills and exhaust her reserves close to death if she’s to go against him, even if it means forming a dangerous alliance with her enemy
THREE WORDS: Original. Fantastical. Spellbinding

MY REVIEW: I was very excited that E.S Lark asked me to review Trueblood’s Plight because I loved her novel The Waking Grove so much and I knew to expect great things. And my expectations were definitely met. Trueblood’s Plight is  a fantastical, intricately and well developed novel about a lesser known fantasy being- the gryphon.

Ava, a giphen (smaller than a gryphon), lives with her clan and under the watchful eye of the elders, works has a nightwing. When Ava learns of a threat to her clan, in the form of their enemy the Endarkened and the kar’itsai that work for them, she must go against the elders in order to save her people. She soon discovers that she is a Trueblood, a giphen capable of great power, a power that their enemies may be after. With help from her human friends, fellow giphens and gryphons, and an unlikely ally, Ava must go to dangerous and dizzying lengths to ensure the safety and legacy of her clan.

            THE STORY
With Trueblood’s Plight, Lark has created a truly fantastical and original story. There are not many gryphon stories out there, but Lark has proven why there should be and she has definitely made her mark and staked her claim on the genre. But this story possesses more than just well developed fantasy; it also has a great deal of character driven emotion and heart.

The actual fantasy elements are really imaginative and intriguing. The magical abilities of the giphens, gryphons, and their enemies-from the way they can read thoughts to the illusions they can create- are captivating to read about. And Lark writes with such descriptive vividness that the story easily played out in my mind and I could picture every feather, every beak-smile, or every etch upon a door.

The world Lark creates is more than just original and imaginative; it’s also very well developed. The intricacies and complexities of the gryphon/giphon history, politics, and society are crafted and weaved throughout the story beautifully. This is a very complete world that I found myself completely immersed and engrossed in. Although, there were a few times where I found myself a bit confused because there was so much going on and so much information being given, and I simply had to reread a few pages or paragraphs. But this didn’t distract me enough to take away from the book as a whole.

The book did start out a bit slow, but the pacing and story picked up quickly. The last quarter of the book was especially fast paced and left me quickly turning pages and breathless. Ava’s journey was equal parts action and emotion, which I really liked. The fantasy is spellbinding, the emotional aspects add a sense of realism, while the twists and turns action adds a thrilling excitement.

Lark has done a great job of creating really likable and compelling characters. Ava is fierce, independent, and brave but her insecurities and doubts make her a layered character. She makes for an easy to root for protagonist, and I found myself quite attached to her and her journey. The friendship between Ava and her human friend Kivra, was a touching one, and a much needed relationship to balance out all the commander-underling relationships in the book. I really liked that Kivra was also a capable, strong female character.

The giphen/gryphon elders were characters that I didn’t always like, but I was always intrigued by them and wanted to know more about them. The antagonists exude a perfect mix of mystery, charisma, and surprise.

The romantic aspects definitely do not dominate this story, but they are definitely important. I won’t spoil anything for you by revealing the individual romantic relationships, but I will say that these relationships were written and created with a great deal of care and thought. The romance progresses organically and quite beautifully, and add a lot of heart to the book.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Lark has once again proved her genuine and impressive ability to create captivating fantasy. Trueblood’s Plight is a wonderfully imaginative, original, and enchanting novel. You’ll be intrigued by the story and touched by the characters. This is one book you should definitely read!


You can enter to win a copy of Trueblood's Plight on Goodreads
Trueblood's Plight will be released Nov. 8, 2011

You can connect with and learn more about E.S. Lark here:

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