Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic
Point of View: Third Distant (Jahna, Lilac, Silko, Friziel, Selizardra, Mydra)
Released: August 27, 2014
Series: Ardentia 1
Predictability: 4 out of 5 (Where 1 is George RR Martin (If the characters make a plan or think about the future I know it isn’t going to go that way.) And 5 is Cinder (where I guessed what was going to happen long before it did, but it was still a great book.)
Source: The author contacted me and asked if I would review this book.
My Rating: 6/10 Stars
I guess it’s no surprise that a book that took me TEN DAYS to read would be hard to review. The Empyrean Key had such potential, but I actually almost gave up. (Which I hate doing) I liked the magic and the intrigue in the castle. (and a certain thief 😉 ) But those things weren’t used enough.
Jahna is a Narcean, a race which has the ability to see the future and read people’s minds, but because she’s never lived among her people and her mother won’t teach her, Jahna’s powers are minimal and she has to touch someone to see something.
Due to the king’s failing heath the country is in a crisis. The Narcean Seer to the king believes the queen to be behind the king’s mysterious illness, so he sets things in motion to protect the kingdom, which will change Jahna’s everyday live forever.
Most of the book is told by Jahna with occasional paragraphs told by her two friends (It takes a little getting used to, but in the end I liked it) the bookworm Silko and the giant girl who wishes she could be a fighter, Lilac. The other main narrator is Mydra the king’s daughter, but lots of other characters have their own chapter too. (Which surprisingly wasn’t confusing)
Narceans aren’t the only race with special powers, and there are also the Vessels, people chosen by the gods should they wish to return again who can control the elements. (Not sure what they have to do with anything yet though)
I liked how the story alternated between Jahna and those in the castle. I actually preferred the intrigue in the castle to Jahna’s quest. (I love political intrigue in books!)
Jahna, Lilac and Silko had a great friendship, which felt very real. (Yes I have weird friends) I loved how they joked with each other.
The world building and powers of this book were the best and most unique aspect of the book. (and why I kept reading) All of the little touches really added to the story, from the implanted stone which helped harness Narcean powers, to the whale like creatures the villagers rode on to go fishing. (And I can’t even mention the best part!)
There is a love interest! (Or at least a flirt) He doesn’t come in until the end of the book and I really wish he was in it more because he’s such an interesting and fun character!
Most of this book is Jahna, Silko, & Lilac’s quest to save the kingdom, but it took too long for things to get started. After a great first chapter the pace slows WAY down and for a good chunk of the beginning of the book nothing really happens. Jahna’s everyday life was rather boring. (Sorry!)
Jahna also came off rather selfish at times. We spent so much time in her normal life, but all she seems to do is sleep in, lay on the beach, and play with her friends. She’s eighteen in a medieval world. Shouldn’t she have a job or at least help her mother out around the house? (Guess not)
Towards the end it started to get good, but then it was over. Where’s the rest?
Will I read the next one? Yes.
I’m afraid that this quest is going to last too long and be too predictable, but I care enough about the characters and want to know how it’s resolved. Also I’m hoping there will be more magic in the next books and maybe even a battle. (Since this is classified as high fantasy.)
Do you often not finish books or is it rare that you give up? (Like a certain stubborn someone)