If you’ve been searching for a new release that gives you a Juliet Marillier vibes – this is it. A River Enchanted is a stunning new fantasy series opener about an island divided and at the whims of the spirits. I wasn’t sure how to feel and then all of a sudden, Ross had whisked me away on a cloud of fantasy and music. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Jack Tamerlaine hasn’t stepped foot on Cadence in ten long years, content to study music at the mainland university. But when young girls start disappearing from the isle, Jack is summoned home to help find them. Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind, plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instill fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home. Adaira, heiress of the east and Jack’s childhood enemy, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, and she hopes Jack can draw them forth by song, enticing them to return the missing girls.
As Jack and Adaira reluctantly work together, they find they make better allies than rivals as their partnership turns into something more. But with each passing song, it becomes apparent the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than they first expected, and an older, darker secret about Cadence lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Former rivals Jack and Adaira are forced to put the past aside to unravel the mystery of kidnapped girls. But what seems like it could be a supernatural mystery takes a sinister turn. In a land of spirits and appeasement, Rebecca Ross weaves a story about community, danger, and family. With a Scottish feel to it, A River Enchanted is blanketed in a misty fog of danger. Of things a shade away from our reality. Ross is an expert, in all of her other books, of bringing the magical to the daily and this magical world is no exception.
Ross manipulates a world of feuds that go back generations. Where stories are woven throughout the book to aid, instill fear, and to provide hope. On one level, I was bewitched by the stories. The ways that there are always two sides. Ones that make us regretful, apologetic, and wary. Additionally, the chemistry and friendship between Adaira and Jack, Sidra and Torin, was fantastic. I love that while it’s certainly centers Adaira and Jack, Sidra and Torin ended up being fabulously developed.
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A River Enchanted features these four characters as they navigate family, community, and loyalty. Each of them has moments in their stories where they have to evolve. Where they have to contend with a crossroads. A choice where they have to look their expectations in the eyes. Throughout A River Enchanted, Ross tells a story that complicates loyalty and family, belonging and community. If you’ve been a fan of Marillier, love the idea of music magic, or a community mystery this one is for you! Find A River Enchanted on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.