Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published: June 25, 2019
Series: The Beast Charmer #1
Genre: NA, Fantasy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I requested and received a copy of this via NetGalley and the publisher SourceBooks Casablanca in exchange for an honest review
4-4.5 Stars! What a fantastic ride. This whole concept was right up my ally. Beast charmers, Shadow Assassins, and forbidden romance all twisted up with intrigue and maybe even a little prophecy, all these things were bound to suck me up and they of course did just that. I kept getting so many video game vibes from it. Being a gamer, especially in my younger days, I played so many games where beast tamers, and charmers were actual roles that could be played and so I had such a sense of nostalgia with this book. Even some of the newer games I’ve played like “Monster Hunter World” had some really intense similarities. I love loved this concept! Really the possibilities are endless here when it comes to the different creatures and what they can do. It would take an incredibly vast imagination to tackle something like this. It was very unique and enjoyable read.
FMC, Leena, is a beast charmer, a person who can use their very nature to sooth and tame certain beasts and collect them. Yes this was Pokemon ~esk but really they aren’t going out taming beasts in order to battle them and become the best in the world… Leena tames beasts to give them a good home in the beast world, to love them, and to keep them from those that would misuse them. After being cast out of her homeland after some shadiness and backstabbing, Lenna is living a life in exile dreaming of the home she has lost and spending all of her time trying to get back home. Unfortunately for Leena, the past she has left behind is still hunting her, and now has recruited an immortal assassins guild to do the dirty work. These assassins complete their task or forfeit their own lives in the process. Leena with the help of her beasts thwart the first assassin, and strike a deal with the leader of the guild, NOC. 4 Beasts in exchange for her freedom… Noc and his most trusted 3 guild members journey with her to collect the beasts all the while Noc plots to betray her in the end. That is until Noc starts to fall for her… but Noc has his own curse. One that literally kills everyone who loves him so for Leena to ever have any feelings for him Noc must pay a price. One he had decided already he wouldn’t pay. All the while Leeena’s enemies from home are plotting and planning..
I think, for me, the only thing that was missing was the world building and backstory. There is enough here to picture the scenes so that’s not the issue. But there was not enough for a real understanding of the world itself and how we have gotten where we are. There are vague mentions of a backstory that may or may not really influence the future so I’m thinking that the author may have left this vague so as to go into it later. I would have really liked a little better understanding of what was happening in the world tho. It would have explained why the people in it were making the decisions that they were making. I just didn’t understand really why the antagonists were after Leena.. what was going on in the world that they thought they needed to destroy her to save themselves? I understand not wanting the truth to get out but there was something else going on that we really just didn’t get into enough for me personally.
All in all this was a phenomenal concept that I hope I get to visit a lot in the upcoming years. Super great time!
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