Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Azurite by Megan Dent Nagle

Title:  Azurite
Series:  Daughter of the Mountain #1
Author:  Megan Dent Nagle
Publication Date:  February 26/15
Length:  448pgs
Genre:  YA Fantasy
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Zora Winnser is the last princess of Samaria, but even though she is the only heir to the Winnser bloodline, she will never rule the Samarian throne. Zora is a baseborn, a child born out of wedlock to Queen Evangeline whose disdain for her illegitimate daughter festers with every passing day.

Zora’s unfortunate birth status is not the only thing that makes her different. She is also a Chimera, a human whose blood is mixed with a sorcerer's-only the Samarian princess doesn’t know it. 

When Zora is sixteen, Queen Evangeline decides to marry her off to the Prince of a foreign land infested by dark swamplands. Unbeknownst to Zora, Samaria faces threats from both inside and outside its borders. There is something in Samaria that the race of sorcerers want: azurite crystal mined from underneath Samaria’s mountains. Queen Evangeline is more than willing to give it to them, but at what cost? As Samaria enters into a war they cannot win, loyalties will be tested and all faith in Queen Evangeline will be lost. The only hope in combating Samaria’s bleak future rests in the hands of a traitorous group of Evangeline’s advisors. With the help of other allies in the Realm, those loyal to Zora set out retrieve her from exile so she can take her rightful place as Queen and save the future of Samaria.

My Review:

Nagle hooked me with the blurb for this one, and held my attention throughout. She builds her world well, creating a whole that is believable yet completely fantasy worthy. Her descriptions will spark your imagination rather than simply telling you what is. The history and mythology of the land are presented as tidbits here & there giving context and deeper meaning to the story. Nagle develops a creative YA plot without ever seeming childish. It is fast paced and enjoyable. The magic throughout the land is well developed and one of a kind.

The main character in this novel was a real treat. She made me laugh throughout and was a joy to get to know. I was never bored following her story. In fact, the entire cast of this novel was well developed and did their roles justice. They were a fun bunch to get to know and I loved their individual stories as much as the overarching plot.

As a whole, this was a well written, well thought out novel that brings fantasy to life. Nagle has definitely started this series out on the right foot.

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