Book Review Wednesday – The Remedy

The Remedy: Book Two of the Eyes of E’veria by Serena Chase

Amazon Book Description:

PURPOSED by birth. DESTINED by prophecy. REVEALED by Truth.
Now, her time has come.

Having come to terms with her long-hidden identity, Princess Rynnaia E’veri is ready to take her rightful place. But before she can join her father at Castle Rynwyk, she must endeavor to fulfill a 200-year-old prophecy and defeat the Kingdom’s ancient enemy, the Cobelds. Joined by her faithful knight, Sir Julien de Gladiel, and a gifted group of friends, Rynnaia must trek a dangerous path through canyons, forests, and into the very depths of a mountain where, if the prophetic scrolls prove correct, she will face an unknown foe, alone. Treacheries will be discovered, sacrifices will be made, friends will be lost, and love will be tested, but if even one line of the riddled prophecy is misinterpreted, Rynnaia will fail . . . and the Kingdom will fall.

Beginning at the point THE RYN ended, THE REMEDY concludes an epic re-imagining of the classic Grimm fairy tale, Snow White & Rose Red, but the Eyes of E’veria series is only beginning . . . Book 3: The Seahorse Legacy (May 2014) begins an adventurous retelling of the classic Grimm tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses and an epic scope that will conclude the second 2-book set of the Eyes of E’veria series when Book 4: The Sunken Realm releases in 2015.

I started reading this series because of this book’s absolutely gorgeous cover. I kept reading this series because I was blown away by the first book. Book Two concludes the epic re-imagining of the Grimm classic Snow White and Rose Red.

Plot – Grade A-

Because this is a sequel, it does play catch up for those who haven’t read Book One or haven’t read it recently. However, I thought this was handled well, especially for a novel written in first person, since it is mostly handled in little clarifying asides spread out over the first five or six chapters. Much better than a true, clunky info dump. I really enjoyed the quest portion of the story but even though it is around 140 pages shorter than Book One, it felt longer since the plot slowed to a crawl in some places, particularly in Part One. I enjoyed getting to know the cast of characters introduced in the first book better. But there was a little too much dithering and “we’re getting ready for the quest” and “we’re on the quest but not quite yet” going on for my personal taste. The attempt at a twist toward the end of the book felt very forced this time because I had figured it out from the first time it was mentioned and it pushed the envelope for me to believe that these intelligent characters can’t figure out this one oddity means something different than the assumption the story goes with because it just didn’t make sense for them not to figure it out sooner.

Content – Grade A-

This is a clean fantasy. There is a stronger romance angle as Rynnaia and her knight go from courtship to marriage. But it is all still very chaste and sweet. There’s only three kisses (not counting kisses pressed to her hand) before the marriage and they don’t occur until the very end of the book.

However, there is one scene where Rynnaia is attacked in her bed by a man with instructions to “ruin” her. There was understandable concern on part of her father and others that the attack had been carried out further than it was but this is handled very tastefully.  There is violence and one character dies, but it never comes across as unnecessary or gratuitous.

Rynnaia’s character growth seemed bumpier this time around. She struggles with having faith and hope. However, she also has instances of pride and vanity that come one right after another, which felt forced and rather out of character. It almost seemed to me that there was a fear of Rynnaia being too perfect but the pride and vanity and her consequent angst of how awful she is to feel these things came across as contrived and frankly annoying. I think it would have flowed better if she had dealt with either the pride or the vanity or at least had more space between them .

Spiritually, this book has a much heavier and pronounced thread, which is both good and bad. I liked the clear need to rely on the First. But, the First “shocks” Rynnaia so many times by speaking to her throughout the book that the big spiritual moment at the end is no longer as significant as it could have been. I was actually reduced to rolling my eyes after yet another “gasp of shock” as the First speaks because it happens so often, it made me question WHY it was a shock.

Technical – Grade A-

There were more typos and homophone issues in this book than its predecessor. There were also some formatting issues. In particular, there were several instances where the italics for thoughts and telepathy would be used for regular narration. In one case, the second half of telepathy was left in plain text and the first sentence of narration immediately following was italicized instead. As mentioned before, there are some pacing issues that could have used some further tweaking.

Final Grade – an A- or 4.7 stars

Overall, I enjoyed the book. Even though it wasn’t as flawless as Chase’s previous offering, I still look forward to reading the next entry in The Eyes of E’veria series. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of epic fantasies and imaginative retellings of classic Grimm fairytales and who also enjoys a clean, sweet romance as a side development. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

The Remedy is available through Kindle.

Next Week – Dragon’s Touch by A.R. Johnson





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