Review: Andraste by Marisa Mills

Marisa Mills; Paperback, 360 pages
Published June 4th 2011 by Hydra Publications (first published May 20th 2011)
Andraste, the daughter of an elfin prince and fairy queen is Fate’s Beloved, blessed with an incredible prophecy naming her as the one who can vanquish the Abatu Empire. She has spent her life preparing for the day when she would leave her homeland and fulfill her destiny. That day has come, but there are a few things Andraste doesn’t know. Her prophecy is a carefully-constructed lie, and beneath the beauty and civilization of her mother’s fairy country, there lie ancient prejudices and secrets. Traitors live within the castle walls, but Andraste can’t help but wonder who’s worse: the vampire empress conquering the world, or the deceitful fairies she’s fighting to save.

I’ve had this on my reading list for a while now, and I’m happy I finally managed to get to read it.

To begin with, the world is just lovely, imaginative, fantastic. I felt it was well built, and it was a pleasure to find myself immersed in such a delightful place. The characters were nice, perhaps a bit too nice for my own tastes, but very inspiring, with that note of righteous that you’d love your kids to come in contact with, you know?
I will however add that they felt a bit too good to me, a bit too proper, a bit too polite, a bit too well-meaning. I didn’t connect with either of them, though Andraste was funny and witty and I usually do connect with characters like that.

The dialog has a bit of a stiff note, I find, and it made me wonder if the characters really did know one another and had a common past, it felt more like they were constantly on their first discussion, when you’re a bit too cautious, a bit too proper, a bit too formal. I kept waiting for the ice to be broken, so to speak, but I didn’t really feel like it happened.
I will remind you guys I’m the sort of reader that likes villains most of the time, the bada$$ sort of characters, the witty, the boisterous, the wisea$$, in other words, spicy characters that have a fairly strong charismatic personality. I didn’t really feel like there was one of those in here, so by large, though there were tense moments, and action scenes and all in the mids of all the adventure, the read felt somewhat monotonous to me.

But it is a very safe ya read, middle grade I’d say in fact, it’s got that fairytale note, with nice, inspiring characters with good intentions and a magical, beautiful world. It’s sweet, the kind of read that makes you go “Awww!!” more then “Whoa!!”. If you’re into that sort of thing, I think you’ll like this book.

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