Monday, May 3, 2010

Review/ Mistwood by Leah Cypess

Monday, May 3, 2010
In the forest of Mistwood lives a legendary creature with the ability to change from human form into a wolf, bird, cat, even mist. As an immortal creature, the Shifter has one purpose: to protect the King of Samorna whenever there is a need to do so. But when Rokan, the current heir to the Samorna throne asks Isabel to be his Shifter and swear her loyalty to him, Isabel is unable to remember anything about the past or her ability to shift.  Without her abilities how will she be able to protect Rokan?

When I first heard about Mistwood I was very excited. The premise of the story totally intrigued me, and I really liked the idea of a Shifter as a main character. However, while I enjoyed the book, I felt that it had some flaws that kept me from really loving it.

 On the positive side, I think Cypess did a terrific job creating an interesting plot. Being a huge fan of courtly intrigue, Mistwood presents all the great elements needed to hold the reader’s attention. There is of course the soon to be crowned King, Prince Rokan, who fears that his life is in danger because his father killed the previous Samorna King and his family. Then there is Rokan’s sister, Clarrise, whose loyalties are suspect since if Rokan is killed, she would become Queen.  Besides the Shifter whose magical abilities are definitely lacking, there are magicians, attempts on Rokan’s life and a murder. The intricate tale has some definite twists and surprises that make this plot extremely complicated and engaging till the end.

On the down side, I was not wholly enthralled with any of the characters, except Clarrise who elicited a strong disliked in me emotionally.  While Isabel’s character was an interesting idea, I never really connected to her on a personal level. She seemed two dimensional. I kept hoping that her shifting abilities would manifest and was disappointed when they didn’t. I was also disenchanted with the relationship between Rokan and Isabel. I kept thinking that something more between these two characters would occur and yet emotionally there never seemed a real motivation for those feelings. I did find the animosity between Isabel and Clarrise heady. Every time these two women interacted sparks flew.  However, I wanted those same sparks to fly romantically between Isabel and Rokan and all I felt was a smoldering ember that fizzled.

Although I found Mistwood’s story well thought out even complex in the various plot twists, I was disappointed with the characters.  I do however, think that Cypess is a talented writer and look forward to reading another book by her in the future.


Andrea said...

Interesting premise even if it didn't go all the way, so to speak.

chelleyreads said...

thanks for the review! hmmm... i was expecting something else from the book but it does sound interesting. might be worth a library borrow, huh?

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

I skimmed a bit because I don't like reading others' reviews before writing my own (in fear of copying!), but awesome review! I agree I struggled to connect with Isabel, but the setting and plot more than made up for it for me. :)

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