'Between the beautiful words used to create this fairytale world, to the amazing power of the elementals, to the aspects of slavery and war, I'd say this book is a must read for any fantasy lover. It's powerful and will keep you turning pages faster than you thought possible. I can't believe this is Mary Weber's debut novel. Congratulations!'
Mary Webers debut novel reflects an author sensitive to her audience, a stellar imagination, and a killer ability with smart and savvy prose.
One of my favorite things about this novel is how the pace unfolds just like a storm. Whether that was the author's plan, given her lead character's fantastic abilities, or a crazy random happenstance, I don't know; but from the moment the reader meets Nymia on the auction block, a deep, threatening charge, held off only by Nym's grief, shame, and fear, begins to build. As the story progresses, you can almost sense the dark clouds growing, building the tension toward the ultimate storm. And when that thunderhead finally breaks? Look out! There is no escape. You are utterly drenched in the action, drama, emotion---and a few moments of calm-within-the-storm beauty and truth---before the lightning cracks again and blows the sky apart. The last one-fourth of the novel will keep you white-knuckled, and raggedly emotional---yes, I cried!---as evil and betrayal, romance and regret, sacrifice and surprise take you right up to the final scene that will no doubt leave you, as it did me, gasping from that hanging cliff for the sequel that cannot come too soon. Don't miss this one!
Storm Siren is an interesting take on the recent trend toward titles with teens who discover they have superpowers. What is unique about Storm Siren is the setting for the release of these powers - somewhat medieval, with rich descriptions of the castle and countryside. Nym is seventeen when she realizes her power, still raw and untrained. Queen Adora wants her for defense, and quickly gets her into training with the handsome and enigmatic Eogan, a favorite of the queen. As an Elemental, Nym's gift is rare, especially since it is usually only passed on to male children from one or both parents. Faelen, Adora's kingdom, is in bad shape, having been at war for many many years. The only way to change this is to mount a lethal attack on Drust. Brother and sister Colin and Breck quickly befriend Nym, and Colin makes no secret of his attraction to her. Breck, who is blind, serves as Nym's chambermaid the confidante, helping her maneuver through the way of the royal court. But there are secrets connecting the two kingdoms, and not all of Adora's loyal servants are what they seem to be. Readers who enjoyed Marissa Meyer's Cinder series will enjoy this fast-paced fantasy which combines an intriguing storyline with as many twists and turns as a chapter of Game of Thrones!
In the kingdom of Faelen, Elementals have always been male and killed at birth. With powers reminiscent of X-Men's Storm, 17-year-old Nym considers herself a monstrous fluke, tormented by guilt over her deadly abilities. After letting loose her powers in public, she becomes slave to petty Adora, who offers two unappealing options: execution or training as a weapon to save their kingdom. Life consists of being trussed up by maid and new friend, Breck, for parties populated with lusty, conniving members of the elite High Court and slightly less dangerous outdoor training by secretive and attractive Eogan, along with Breck's cheeky brother Colin, who literally moves earth. The heroes and plot come in to action in the last third of the book. A bittersweet ending teases happiness, but the rug is pulled from under Nym and readers alike in the final pages. The language is occasionally jarring, using a tone typical of medieval tales, with occasional quips or thoughts coming across as too modern. Nym is distinct while the other characters are archetypes. Still, this adventure, in the vein of 1980s fantasy films, has readers rooting for the heroes to smite the wicked baddies. Buy where fantasy flies.
Nym has been a slave for 14 different masters when a noblewoman named Adora buys her, although as an untrained Storm Siren in a kingdom that kills Elementals at birth, Nym is lucky to be alive. In her new home, Nym finds that Adora is one of the kings advisors trying to stop Faelen from being invaded, and she plans to use Nyms powers as a line of last defense against the armies of the body-snatching Draewulf. Meanwhile, Nym cant stop thinking about Eogan, her trainer, whose touch brings a calm the likes of which shes never experienced before. Nyms struggles dont exactly tread new ground, so fantasy readers will feel at home in Webers first novel. The romantic subplot falls a little flat, but a detailed backdrop and large cast bring vividness to the story. Nyms friend and fellow magic-user Colin, for example, keeps the mood light with his good humor without being reduced to comic relief alone. The story takes a surprisingly dark turn as the narrative pieces fall into place for the next book in this planned trilogy.
Readers will easily find themselves captivated. The breathtaking surprise ending is nothing short of horrific, promising even more dark and bizarre adventures to come in the Storm Siren trilogy.
Weber builds a fascinating and believable fantasy world. Inventive and entertaining.