Blade & Rose by Miranda Honfleur Book Review
This book is long. A lot of backstory. And it's repeated. It's cool that these are fully developed characters with complicated, entwined histories. Although with all the repetition, I feel like some of this is just page stuffing. (Same thing with the intensely long names - I never know which character entered the room since they say the whole name! And someone else has to say, "Oh, so & so?" with their nickname so you know who they're discussing. That shouldn't be be necessary.)
This book, in the true sense, starts right in the middle of the action. It's entertaining and complicated, but there's also a lot of history and backstory, which is confusing because it's referenced by the characters who obviously lived it, but is only revealed bit by bit. It keeps you reading and anxious for more, wanting to understand the minds of these characters.
And now the characters...
Reille is spunky, confident and decisive, despite her childhood memories. She's always pursuing a justified course of action and choosing her own story.
I also like that Rielle always has a well thought out reason for what she does. You may not agree with it, or it may seem wrong at first, but she thinks through every angle. No half-assed decision-making here. And she still has flaws, even though she should win everything, she doesn't. Which makes her both relateable and likeable.
The main male character (Jon)... is annoying. He's angered easily, falls in love too quickly, and is just plain boring. Sure he's good looking and honorable and strong, but I am most more intrigued by her relationship with her ex-Master Leigh. Can we get more of him, please?
Brennan, her jilted fiance, is interesting. I really want to love him - he's passionate and snarky, but oh so mean.
Love how Leigh is dashing, spontaneous and risky. He makes me swoon with his carefree attitude and amoral ways.
This world is steeped in magic, which is awesome. But the magic is never really explained. There is a long complicated backstory of all the different types of mages, and we learn Rielle is a rare mage that can control all 4 elements, but we don't really know how her magic works. Unless there's a fight scene, and then we learn that magic dominates all non-magic users.