Monday, January 30, 2012

Storm Born - Richelle Mead

It's become something of a pet project, it seems, for my friend ZenitaDee to get me into Richelle Mead books. As I've mentioned before what has probably been a few dozen times, Zenita is a huge fan of Mead's work and generally follows everything she does. Has the star and bolts on the back of her neck from VA, got all giddy and happy when an author at a signing told us the baby's name, etc. As she has now led me to finish Vampire Academy and the Succubus series, it seemed only natural that she walked into my house one day and tossed Storm Born at me.

Storm Born is the first book in yet another series by Richelle Mead, this time about Eugenie Markham. Eugenie--and don't ask me how to pronounce that, because I'm still sounding out these names in my head—is a shaman whose daily life consists of taking care of spirits and gentry that cause problems in the human world. Her newest case consists of a man claiming that his little sister has been taken by not just fairies, but by one of the fairy kings himself. In order to get the girl back, Eugenie would have to go into the fae’s world in the flesh, at great danger to herself. It’s after she does so that she is informed of a prophecy in the world which centers around both herself and her first born son. Suddenly, Eugenie is rapebait for any fantasy creature with a taste for power, which isn’t helped by the fact that she still has to save the human girl who was taken by the fae.
I should also note that Storm Born and the rest of the Dark Swan series are more along the lines of Succubus than Vampire Academy. Younger readers beware.
Let me start by saying that this books starts off really slow. I’ve enjoyed the other series by Richelle Mead, though doubtlessly not as much as Zee has, and I was disappointed when I first began reading. While the beginning has some spots of humor and such, I really had problems getting into this book. It’s after the first hundred pages or so that this book gets good, which is kind of glaring flaw in the story. But I will say that when this book starts getting good, it gets fantastically good.
Ignoring the slow beginning, the storyline for this book is kind of great. As I said in my theme article a few posts back, I –love- fae in my books, and I’m really hoping that the fairy themes become a book fad. The fact that this book revolves around a fairy world parallel to the human world kind of made me giddy when I read the back cover, and I love the way the fae are presented in this book. I particularly enjoy the way that mythology from different areas around the world is twisted together to create a very diverse fairy race. There are the general Sidhe-like gentry nobles, there are pixies, water monsters of many kinds, and even a kitsune! And instead of the typical two court fairylands that you see in books such as the Iron Fae series and the Meredith Gentry series, the world of these Dark Swan novels have many different courts and kings, creating a nice touch of politics and power plays.
I currently have two more books in this series sitting at home on my desk waiting for me, and based upon this introduction to the world, I’m very excited to read them. That being said, the one thing I can see forming in this book that I know I’m going to hate is Mead’s usual romantic set up: a love triangle. I’ve probably mentioned it on here a few times, and I’ve ranted about it to friends even more offline, but I abhor this new thing where every book and its mother has to have romance, and has to have a romance with a love triangle. I especially hate the fact that these love triangles almost –always- consist of one guy it would be easy to love, one guy it would be hard to love, and the girl who, to date, I have yet to ever see pick the guy it would be easy to love. And being as I’m the girl who roots for that guy whose easy to love and is usually shown to already have been in love with the girl for years, I kind of hate the fact that the guy who gets the girl in these books is always the guy who creates a pain in the ass situation. Which means that after reading this book I’m already supporting Eugenie and Dorian, and I’d bet money that this series will conclude with Eugenie and Kiyo.
But nonetheless, this book is pretty good, and I’d recommend it first off to any fans of Mead’s other series. The feel is very similar, particularly in terms of the characters. I’d also recommend this book to those fans of Twilight, Nightshade, Firelight, etc, who love the romantic triangle aspect of fiction. And furthermore, I’d recommend it to those people who, like me, absolutely love fairy fiction.
So if you fit those categories, or just want to try a new fantasy romance novel, grab a copy of Storm Born soon. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.