I once thought home was simply a place. Four walls to hold you at night while you slept. But I was wrong. It’s people. It’s being with the ones that you love, and maybe even the ones that you hate.A River Enchanted, Rebecca Ross
I really wouldn’t do much for a Klondike Bar, but there is a lot I would do for a good fantasy book, especially if it’s a series.
The only thing I had to do to get this book was to pick it for my BOTM, and I’m so thankful that I did. Everything about this story locked me in, from the characters to the descriptions and I never wanted to put it down.
This is Rebecca Ross’ first jab at Adult Fantasy and I think she just about crushed it, and in case this wasn’t enough to convince you to read the book, then please see my additional six reasons below.
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.
With unforgettable characters, a fast-paced plot, and compelling world-building, A River Enchanted is a stirring story of duty, love, and the power of true partnership, and marks Rebecca Ross’s brilliant entry on the adult fantasy stage.
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1. Multiple perspectives and third-person narrative
One perspective isn’t bad, it’s just limiting. Thankfully, Rebecca Ross has given us not one, not two, not three, not four…but FIVE perspectives in this spellbinding book:
- Jack Tamerlaine – Our leading man/bard, who has been summoned back to Cadence after being away for ten years, to help find missing lasses.
- Adaira Tamerlaine – Our bamf leading lady who is the heiress to the Tamerlaine laird. Also, Jack Tamerlaine’s childhood nemesis.
- Torin Tamerlaine – The guardsman to the east (aka Tamerlaine), Adaira’s cousin, husband to Sidra, and father to Maisie.
- Sidra Tamerlaine – Healer of the east, wife of Torin, and pseudo-mother to Maisie.
- Fraeda Tamerlaine – Jack’s little sister.
Tamerlaine is the name of the eastern clan, so that is why it’s Adaira, Torin, and Sidra’s last name. Jack and Fraeda don’t know who their father is, so they’ve taken that last name as well.
2. Soooo many secrets…and mysteries
You will find many a mystery on the island of Cadence, but the three primary mysteries are as follows:
- Who is taking the Tamerlaine lasses, and why are they being taken?
- The Breccan Clan – we are only told that they are violent and don’t seek to make peace with the East.
- Who is Jack and Fraeda’s father?
Many more stem from these three, but I would hate to give everything away 🙂
3. Clan rivalries
It’s like the Montagues and the Capulets, the Trojans and the Spartans, the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, Jerry Seinfeld and Newman…The Tamerlaines and the Breccans have a rivalry that beats all rivalries (besides the Packers and the Bears).
We know that the clans’ feud stems from centuries past when the leader of the east and the leader of the west decided to wed in an attempt to bring the two clans together. Obviously, that ends in utter disaster.
While this book mainly focuses on the Tamerlaines. We see glimpses of the Breccans, but not much is revealed about the clan. The Breccans seem to be more warrior types, while the Tamerlaines are more gentle.
4. There’s magic
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo – magic rules.
Many people on the island of Cadence have magical abilities. For the Tamerlaines, wielding magic has a very dangerous cost – your health. For the Breccans, there is no cost for practicing magic. Just add it to the list of mysteries.
Jack has the unique ability to communicate with the spirits of Cadence (water, earth, and wind) through his music. Jack’s mom has the ability to weave protective plaids. There are all sorts of magical abilities, and I wish I had all of them.
5. Dynamic & romantic relationships
Where would a good story be without a little romance? There are quite a few romantic entanglements mentioned in this book, but Jack and Adaira, and Torin and Sidra truly steal the show.
First, we have Jack and Adaira. They start the book off as enemies and it ends with them falling madly in love. It’s slow-moving but totally worth the pace and I love a good enemies-to-lovers romance trope.
Torin and Sidra are married when we are first introduced to them, Sidra being Torin’s second wife. His first wife died in childbirth. While it’s clear the two care for each other deeply, there’s still so much they are discovering about each other throughout the book. Honestly, their relationship is beautiful and I love them.
6. Celtic Folklore
This book is set in the 21st century, but when Jack arrives in Cadence it’s as if he’s gone back in time. The men wear kilts and plaids. There are no phones, TVs, cars, or guns. People get around on foot or by horse. The clans fight with enchanted swords and are protected by enchanted plaids. If you need someone, all you have to do is whisper their name in the wind and they’ll come.
Then there are the spirits. The people of Cadence believe that the spirits hold their fate in their hands and many of the Tamerlaines make offerings to them to keep the peace.
It’s all so magestic!
Just Read It
If you don’t mind reading an exquisite book and then being forced to wait a year before the second one is published, then I highly suggest you read this book right now.
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