Sunday, June 30, 2013

Feudlings, Wendy Knight

Feudlings (Fate on Fire, #1) 75. Feudlings is the story of a pair of star-crossed lovers mixed with a lot of action. Ari, the heroine of the story, is seventeen years old and about to attend the newest in a succession of boarding schools in Park City, UT. Her only job: as the Edren prodigy, she is to find and destroy the children of the Carules. Although Ari doesn't enjoy what she does, she kills to keep her family safe, and to put an end to this war when she finds the Carules' prodigy and kills him.

Ari doesn't make friends. She's never in one place long enough, and getting attached only hurts. Plus, her experience has been that people (girls especially) are generally cruel. So it's much to Ari's surprise when she finds herself befriended by a group of students at her new school almost at once. And their friendship seems genuine--not just some trick to humiliate her later. Her new friends include Charity, Hunter, and Charity's cousin Shane--who just happens to be the hottest guy Ari's ever seen.

Only of course, there's a catch: Shane, Hunter, and Charity are Carules, and she's destined to destroy them. When Ari discovers this, she faces a choice: follow her destiny, or make her own future.

 The premise here is interesting, and I like that Ari is a strong girl character. I also liked the friendships that she forms with the other students, because I felt like they were warm and believable.

I wasn't as won over by her interest in Shane, which felt just a little bit like insta-love--although I did like both Ari and Shane, I think I would have liked it better if their interest in each other hadn't been telegraphed so clearly at the beginning, and if it hadn't been so physical (both of them were instantly struck by how attractive the other was).

The author does tension and action scenes quite well, so the plot moves quickly. Unfortunately, I kept comparing it to Cinda Williams Chima's excellent Warrior Heir, a contemporary fantasy that similarly pits two would-be lovers against each other as pawns in a bitter war, and I think Chima's book has tighter plotting and less obvious plot turns.

I enjoyed reading this book, and I think a lot of fantasy fans would enjoy it as well--I just didn't love it.

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