** Psst.. this is totally one of my new favorites. **
Genre: Dark Fantasy Paranormal Romance
Recommendation: For fantasy lovers for sure! I think this is also a great choice for those of you that enjoy fantasy themes but get annoyed with the way a lot of fantasy is written. The writing here feels more YA than traditional fantasy.
Type: Series, this is book one in the Annika Brisby Series. The second installment in the series, The Silver Thread, is already released and available on Amazon.
Summary: +interesting plot +complex heroine +handsome yet frustrating love interest +intriguing sexual tension between mains -mildly disappointing climax +/- non-rage inducing cliffhanger +descriptive world building + nice length +well-built supporting characters
Aspiring rock star Annika Brisby thinks she knows where her life is going until she steps through a broken portal that leaves her stranded in a realm of fairies, vampires, and other mythical beings. Unable to return until it’s repaired, she’s rescued by wood nymphs who believe her sudden arrival is no accident. After being taken in by a prominent family of elves, Annika finds herself struggling to resist the seductive spell of their youngest son,Talvi. Equal parts arrogant and alluring, the notorious heartbreaker seems like the perfect distraction for her homesickness. Her new friends warn her that she’ll probably regret ever laying eyes on him, and what begins as a casual fling quickly burns too hot to handle. By the time Annika learns the consequences of their forbidden trysts, Talvi’s already under her skin and dangerously close to her heart. But on the journey home she discovers that there’s a mountain of secrets that he’s not telling her, and Annika can’t help wondering who’s really in danger.
It is about time I found a fantasy(ish) novel that doesn’t get tedious! One of my biggest concerns when agreeing to read fantasy is the possibility of me experiencing hate at first line and having to force myself to read the rest of a lengthy novel that I find myself falling asleep during. I do enjoy traditional fantasy but as all you fantasy readers out there might have noticed, they tend to be longer and more involved than those in the YA genre (totally a bonus in my book, unless you hate it.) Once beginning The Flame and the Arrow, I quickly realized that although this book has multiple plot lines, it is written very clearly and doesn’t require much concentration to keep up. Despite being over four hundred pages, the book is so full of continuous action that it feels much shorter.
On to the characters eh? So Annika, the main female character, is a regular girl who enjoys her band and her life. After recently breaking it off with her super stable and sadly chemistry-less boyfriend, Annika decides to spend some time with her entomologist uncle half way across the world as a change in pace. While there, Annika falls accidentally into a portal and is taken to another world where she not only finds out the paranormal and fantastic exist, but that she may in fact be less human than she thinks. Enter tall, dark and handsome Talvi. An elf with a colorful past and a penchant for womanizing, Talvi takes it upon himself to shelter Annika and show her around his world.
With fantastical creatures and hilariously witty banter, The Flame and the Arrow provides a fantasy experience laced with steamy sexual chemistry, anger and emotion induced fighting and the journey of a girl in a strange place running head first into destiny, whether she likes it or not. I totally dug the world building and descriptive writing. I could clearly picture the differences between our world and theirs. The chemistry between Annika and Talvi is palpable and I got so involved in their relationship I found myself wanting to smack some sense into each one. I was slightly disappointed in the climax of the fighting at the end. I don’t know I expected more of a battle than was actually fought. I am pretty psyched to pick up the second book and read more about what happens next and I would also be down to read a spin-off about Yuri and Konstantin.
(A little bird told me it would happen!)
This book is a promising start to the series, I guess I will have to just wait and see after reading book two if it is still one of my new favorites or not.
Disclaimer: I was asked to review this novel by the author in exchange for an honest review. I obtained this book for free via Amazon.