After reading this book what were my first thoughts?
I like it … actually, no … I love it!
Here’s the deets…
For the last three years, eighteen-year-old Ashlyn Li has been running from her destiny. A free-spirited ninja, Ashlyn would rather loot an abandoned city or challenge a fiend to battle than assume leadership of Toryn, her father’s kingdom. However, when a series of attacks reunites Ashlyn with the friends who helped her save the sun three years ago, she discovers that her kingdom is at war and her father has presumed her dead.
Suddenly Ashlyn is faced with not only fulfilling her birthright, but also making sense of her feelings towards two very different men- Drake Lockhart, the enigmatic vampire who captured her heart three years ago, and Vargo, the charismatic assassin who was once Ashlyn’s sworn enemy.
Will Ashlyn ascend the pagoda and become Lady of Toryn?
Ashlyn frowned, trying hard to focus. “I only asked you to start thinking of yourself as a man,Drake, instead of a monster. That’s hardly the same thing.”“I’m asking you to think of yourself as a leader,” he said. “You’ve spent so long running from responsibility that you think yourself incapable of fulfilling your birthright.”“We haven’t seen each other in three years. You don’t know what I’m capable of- I don’t even know what I’m capable of.”He grabbed her hand, abruptly, and brought it up to his chest. Through the cloth of his shirt, his skin was warm to the touch, and Ashlyn let him press her hand against the solidness of his shoulder, confused as to what he was doing“This,” he said, his voice low, “is where I was struck by Devlyn’s sword.”After a moment, he slid her hand lower, until it was resting directly above his heart. Ashlyn paused, entranced by the lack of a pulse beneath her fingers, the scent of him filling her senses and enveloping her like the rain against the roof.“This,” Drake said. “This is where I would have been struck, if you had not deflected the blow.”She met his gaze, breathing so hard that she felt light-headed. His eyes bored into hers, piercing her straight to her soul.“I know what you are capable of, Ashlyn,” he said. “I know better than anyone.”
Should you but it?
Ashlyn has spent the past three years enjoying a responsibility free life. But under attack, she is rescued by her old friends and brought back to the civilization and the responsibility she ran away from. And things are way worse than she ever thought they could have been. Once part of the resistance movement that brought down an evil regime Ashlyn now needs to lead the same movement in an attack to prevent a new regime taking over and destroying their new way of life. In other words, Ashlyn needs to stop running away from her destiny. And just to complicate matters a little more there’s a couple of really fit guys around Ashlyn and she’s trying really hard not to think about her love life at a time like this.
Ashlyn’s spunky, she has a really quick mouth and I found myself giggling into the darkness a couple of times. Her verbal sparring with the spartan Vargo, a wannbe love interest, is a definite highlight of the story. The chemistry and camaraderie between these two is so much fun to read. But it lacks the intensity that Ashlyn has with the brooding vampire, Drake, or his attraction. Maybe, its the wanting want you can’t have and not wanting what you can that makes this love triangle particularly interesting. Its seemed where Drake lacked Vargo made up and vice versa.
Ashlyn’s an accomplished ninja, she finds herself in many hand to hand combats when her life is threatened by her enemy. It was easy to follow the fight scenes clearly. Although at the beginning, for myself, it wasn’t easy to understand some of the weaponry and magical devices used, (I’ve never read a book of this kind before.) I swiftly caught up and thoroughly enjoyed it!
While I found Ashlyn’s independence admirable, she still has a tendency to run. And I’m not sure I believe its down to her desire to protect everyone else. Surely she should know better, her friends will go after her anyway. She faces a lot of personal battles a long the ways, physically and mentally which made me want to route for her. And I love a strong lead character that I have to route for.
There were occasions where I had to stop and think and if I’d have written my review the day I read the book I’d have not reviewed it at all. The quickest way to annoy this reader is the ending of this book (haha! You have to read it to find out). That being said, Return is the first in The Lady of Toryn trilogy and I’m looking forward to the reading the Regret and Redemption.
Should you buy it? Absolutely! Its a definite “must read” from me!
Full disclosure: I received a review copy from the author and this had in no way influenced my opinion.
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