03 December, 2012

#BookReview :: Sanctuary (Mesmer Trilogy #1) by Isabella Amaris

A hidden kingdom in a forbidden forest. A realm she can’t escape without the trust of a mage. But trust and magic make complicated allies – when time is running out.

When Lea escapes ruthless pursuers within the shadows of a dark forest, she unwittingly stumbles upon an enchanted kingdom. But Verlaine is not the sanctuary it appears to be. And when its magi sovereign refuses to let her leave, her encounters with strange sorcery and malicious fey become the least of Lea's problems.

Soon, Lea must find a way to outwit Gabriel Amarinth’s web of enchantment without betraying who – and what – she really is; and before a traitor can destroy all she’s fought to protect in her beloved home kingdom of Lorien.

While being chased, Lea stumbles into a jungle that the people from her country generally avoid. Hurt and tired, she is almost defenseless when she meets Caleb who takes her to his Master, Gabriel. Initially unaware of her own location, Lea soon finds out that she had inadvertently entered the magical country of Verlaine, a country whose existence she wasn’t aware of. And magic, surely that doesn’t exist? Lea is sure that it is merely an illusion that Gabriel and his cohorts put up. But as she recuperates from her injuries and spends more and more time in Verlaine, she realizes that there’s a lot of things that she doesn’t know about.

When I won this book on Goodreads giveaway, I was really excited. I mean it is a fantasy world with magic in it! Bring it on. The book had my attention from the very first page, but by the end of the chapter I was disappointed. Thinking that I had too high expectation, I gave it a rest for few days before returning to it. But this time to my reaction was the same. 

The author has managed to create an intriguing world, I’ll admit. Two countries with polar opposite beliefs and rules are at an uneasy peace – more like a Cold War, when our protagonist stumbles across the existence of a third country which was totally different from what she had grown up knowing and believing. Plus, she finds out that magic is real and that there are all sorts of creatures in existence – not just humans. From vampires to faeries to talking panthers she comes across creatures that she thought existed only in fairy tale and myths. The character of Gabriel and Caleb is also interesting. Gabriel, ruler of Verlaine and Caleb his apprentice are the bright spot of this book. They kept me entertained with their sense of humour and sarcasm. Lea on the other hand confused me a lot. It is indicated throughout the book that she has a ‘past’. Her ever questioning thoughts, refusal to believe what she was seeing and experiencing and her behavior kept contradicting each other. At times it indicated that she was a strong person both mentally and physically, yet the very next moment she behaved very foolishly. The other thing that bugged me was the lack of action. The whole book, once Lea is taken to Gabriel after a couple of chapters, takes place within Gabriel’s castle. That limits the opportunities right there. And then there are the discussions of two types - ones that Lea kept having with herself in her mind and the others that she has with the other characters. They were often repetitive and long drawn. And oh the cliffhanger the book end with is shocking!

Overall the book seemed a like a long drawn introduction to the world of Verlaine. It totally had the potential to be something amazing but just did not work out in the actual rendition of the plot. 

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