• Relic
  • Relic


4.3 29
by Renee Collins

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After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive the best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie's world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics'

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After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive the best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie's world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics' powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.

Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics' powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren't always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it's too late.

Relic by Renee Collins is a thrilling adventure set in a wholly unique world, and a spell-binding story of love, trust, and the power of good.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—A fantasy-filled alternative U.S. history title set in the Colorado Territory in 1867. Sixteen-year-old Maggie's parents never returned from a trip to town, and her older brother just died in a fire from which she and her younger sister barely escaped with the help of an Apache teen. Maggie and Ella end up in a small town populated by prospectors. Relic prospectors. Fossilized unicorn horns, the bones of kraken, bits from griffins and werewolves, and trolls are buried in the mesas all around. People who are rich enough to own relics (like hacienda boss Álvar Castilla) or talented enough to harness their magic (like Moon John and Maggie) can gain advantages such as fire-starting or invisibility. Highly dangerous shadow relics are forbidden by law, but that doesn't mean they aren't available on the black market. Maggie takes a job as a waitress in a saloon and makes friends with Adelaide, a fancy dancer and occasional prostitute. She meets Landon, a cowboy who steals her heart, and she wonders about the fate of the Apache who saved her life. The writing can be predictable (hearts "burst," eyes "plead," feet "are rooted," and emotions "choked back"), but the story has enough inventive action and romance to keep teens interested. The ending offers a reveal that practically guarantees a sequel. Offer this one to older fans of Patricia C. Wrede's Thirteenth Child (Scholastic, 2009), another fantasy-filled alternative U.S. history. Fans of Westerns will enjoy the frontier atmosphere, if they don't mind the occasional appearance of ghost coyotes and magical goblin belts.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
Kirkus Reviews
Plot trumps characterization in this Wild West fantasy. When mysterious attackers burn their hometown, survivors Maggie Davis and her younger sister, Ella, seek refuge in a nearby town. Local law enforcement assumes the burnings are Apache attacks against relic-mining communities, as the Apache culture views relic use as religious desecration. Relics are the expensive fossils of magical creatures such as dragons and goblins, and they give the wielder access to the creature's residual magic. When a few Apaches--including the one who rescued Maggie and Ella from their town's fire (the first of Maggie's many rescues)--are captured, Maggie must solve the mystery before they are executed. While local nuns take in little Ella, Maggie needs employment--preferably not as a prostitute. She only barely finds a position at the local saloon when its young, handsome owner--Álvar Castilla, the wealthiest man in town--invents a hostess position for her. She befriends a showgirl/prostitute with a heart of gold and flirts with a heroic cowboy while avoiding a controlling stock villain. The text often tells readers that Maggie is strong, yet more often than not, other characters must push her along through the plot. The ending demands a sequel, but only readers willing to forgive slipshod characterization for the innovative worldbuilding will look forward to it. Simplistic characters undermine an exciting, creative fantasy world. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

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Product Details

Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
Entangled Teen Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.06(w) x 8.09(h) x 1.13(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

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Relic 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this as an ARC Get ready to dive into one of the most intriguing and tantalizing reads of the summer! There is nothing RELIC can't offer you if you like a good ol' twist of magic, charming and sexy cowboys, a young and gorgeous Indian warrior with a flair for saving, a damsel in distress, a sleazy boss who makes your skin crawl, a young wealthy gentlemen ready to make you an offer you can't refuse, a witty best friend with all the right moves, and the sizzling heat of the old Wild West. Every page reveals a new twist that promises you an action packed, edge of your seat read! Filled with gripping emotions, RELIC promises a heart that flutters with anticipation and sweaty palms that become slick under the grip of your e-reader as you hold on for dear life in this roller coaster of plots, devotion, heartbreak, excitement, intrigue, love and betrayal. Three young delicious sexy boys, a beautiful girl searching for all the answers, a best friend who leaves you laughing, AND MAGIC. Anyone who knows me, understands that I'm a sucker for anything magical and with RELIC I got everything I love all in one charming and charismatic book. How can I not love it?  Still need a little something to show you that this book has it all? Hmm..I think I can help with that. "I pressed my lips to his and drank deeply. Landon hesitated for a moment, but then surrendered to the desire I knew boiled inside him. His arms hooked around me. I climbed onto his lap, straddling him with my legs. His hot breath flashed my cheek as he kissed me hungrily." Hands down, RELIC is by far my new favorite and I won't be surprised if it becomes your new obsession too. Be warned though, clear your schedule. Once you crack the spine of this epic fantasy, you will be hooked and won't be able to shake it until the very last page...and even than it will cast a spell on you and haunt you in your sleep.
Megz_0711 More than 1 year ago
I received this as an ARC When I first started this book I wasn’t sure what to expect and I’m not going to lie it took me a little bit to figure everything out. Have you ever watched a T.V. show where it takes like 8 or 9 episodes of the 12 episode show to figure out what the heck is going on? And you are just so intrigued that you have to continue to find out and understand. Well this book was like that for me, but in a good way. The book takes please out in the 1700-1800ish Wild West era. Maggie Davis is our wonderful main character and I love everything about her. Her wonderful way to attract the wrong attention, they way she stands out and up for herself and others. The protectiveness that she shows those closest to her, and her fierce undying fire to follow her dreams. After tragedy strikes Maggie’s home town, Maggie tries to start over in Burning Mesa with her little sister Ella. I have mixed emotions about Ella and her bratiness, on one hand I understand it, but on the other suck it up. So as Maggie earns her keep and money working at a local saloon she ends up making friends with the last person in the world Maggie ever though she would, Adelaid the show girl at the saloon. I should mention that Maggie is very conservative during this time frame and Adelaid is pretty much the exact opposite. The richest man in the area is Alvar Castilla and when he finds out about Maggie’s special talent with relics he immediately becomes interested in her. He invests a lot into all different types of relics, especially rare ones. One of my favorite scenes involves, Fairy Relic Powder, and when I read about the vals vuelo de Espana I was so involved and taken with the story that it was all I could do to not imagine myself being there during that time. There is a lot that goes on in this book. We learn a lot about the Apaches, especially Maggie’s friend Yahn, and their rising revolts on the towns. We also get to learn about Landon. OMG I love Landon. He is the perfect mix of cowboy/western/gentlemen/ladies man/sweet talking/smooth shooting/riding man of my dreams. If I could go back in time to be in this era, it would be worth it to just get a chance at being with Landon. So if you haven’t picked up yet relics are the main gist of this story. The way the history of relics and their uses is described just pulls the reader in to want to know more. It’s pure magical and one of the greatest forms of imagination I’ve ever seen. Two things that get me more than anything else is any form of magic and love. Adding some awesome history to that and AMAZING writing only makes this book so much better. I loved that this book wasn’t cut short and fully explained everything it needed. Of course there are a lot of plot twists that keep the reader guessing until the end about what is going to happen. Although at one point Maggie got pretty mad (which doesn’t really happen) and all I kept envisioning in my head was that she was going to have flames shooting out of her arms and destroying everything in sight to get to her destination. I’ve never quite read a book like this and I’m so excited that as a new author I was able to get the chance to read this amazing book and help promote it. I can’t wait to see what will happen next for Maggie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My name is Maine and im 14. Mmy godly parent is Posideon. My parents were killed a few years ago and the only family i have left is my 20 year old sister and she takes care of me. I have had a lot of experience with fighting so im strong and durable. I have dark brown hair and light brown eyes. My weapon of choice would be a spear and sheild with a sword
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Uh... look at the title of my bio Age: 14 Species: uh.. demigod? Race: Demigod i guess Backround: I ran away from home to protect family from monster attacks. I had a sis, a bro, and a step bro. The step bro was a total jerk. The las time i used a cellphone, it blew up, so I had my mom drive me here. Godly parent: POSIDEN ALL THE WAY!!!!! Weapon of choice: any source of water, but if I have to, i use my sword, Kyama
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name jebb weapon bow and arrow with a sword of ice enything else ask
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Annabeth Gold<br> Species: Fae<br> Race: Loki<br> Godly Parent: Pan<br> History: I was born in the Labryinth (Might have spelled it wrong). My mom was a Fae, a Norn actually. Norns are earth fae who feed of stupidness. I'm a Loki. I feed of anxiety. I'm a mischief fae. Anyway my mom got pregnant and went back to her a tree at the other end of the labryinth. Norns are linked to their tree. Its like another body to take care of. Anyway she madde me escape with Percy and Annabeth when the labryinth started falling apart. I threw of rock at Percy. I've been lookijg for a fitting camp since.<br> Appearance: Strawberry blonde hair, and blue eyes. Slender body.<br> Weapon: Longbow and two battle axes.<br> Crush: Not saying. Jebb seems sensitive<br> Status: Single
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At borgias res one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name-look up plz thnx ********************* godly parent-hecate**************godly patron- hephastus ****************** looks-black hair gold eyes muscular and tanish************** powers and weapons- my staff and sword and daggers, i can do magic better than alot of peeps since my mom is yea, i can controll fire and i can build stuff not bad*********
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My full name is Mia Skai Rayn-Im 15-I have long brown brown hair and and blue/grey eyes.-Im silly and I might laugh a little too much.-Im a full blood Okie (Oklahloman).-Godly parent, Apollo.- Single for now-Im really athletic, I run track and country, pitcher/first baseman.-Got any questions? Just ask, I dont bite. - Mia
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full name: Merida Rachel Chase Age: 12 Looks: hazel/stormy grey eyes, red/blonde hair with purple streaks, skinny Wears: almost always a t-shirt with something on it or a camp-half-blood t-shirt with jean shorts. Weapons: sword (celestial bronze) and powers from godly parent Olympian Parent: Athena Personity: friendly, helpful, talkative I think I should be co leader because I can be on here almost always and I love designing things. Im also not mean. I know Im not the first person who you would consider but I would think Id be a good co leader. So plz consider.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bios here
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Idk who my godly is i just kniw i have powers of a withch a wolf a vampire and a demon im 16 looks long brown hair with natrill blond highlights i ca speak to animals i am imune to help all livibg creatures wether i like them or not persinality sweet kind funny weird randome can be akwered and i can protect my self any thing else please ask i wont bite;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Godlyparent:i am one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: are you really that stupid? Kyle colliagra pitt <p> Age: 17 <p> godly parent: hecate <p> personality: light, easygoing, funny, likes to yell at the public. When is annoyed he yells a lot. <p> history: dont ask. <p> rank: camp leader <p> status/crush: single/none, not looking. <p> weapons/gadgets: a long sword named thrive, a bow and arrows, a pistol with a flip up scope, knives, and poison-filled throwing darts (im really good at them)if neccesary. His watch can turn into a ferrari, a eagle, or a ******* (secret weapon/gadget)<p> powers: minor things that have to do with magic, but i specialize in the element of wind. So i can fly, control the wind, make mini tornadoes/ hurricanes, and move stuff around without touching them by bending the wind.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Relic by Renee Collins Publisher: Entangled Teen Publication Date: August 27, 201 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie&rsquo;s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics&rsquo; powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries. Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics&rsquo; powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of &Aacute;lvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren&rsquo;t always clear, &Aacute;lvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it&rsquo;s too late. What I Liked: I am happy to say that I liked this book! One of my many bookish goals this year is to read all of the Friday the Thirteeners books (check out their blog! They have cool stuff every Friday!). I own all of the books that have been released (ten of them) in some format, but as of right now, I've only read... five of them. This is one of the five! Anyway, this one was pretty great! I love historical fiction. This book takes place in the old western Colorado times when people hated Native Americans and were totally prejudiced against them. Maggie's hometown is one of several that were burned down - supposedly by Apaches. But Maggie knows better - her Apache friend from school saved her. The Apaches are not the ones behind the fires and violence and death. Maggie meets the illustrious Alvar Castilla in a relic factory. Maggie has a strange affinity for relics, as she is able to sense them better than most. Alvar discovers this when they meet, and offers Maggie a place at his home, in exchange for her services with relics. Maggie declines. Though she doesn't love her job with Adelaide at a saloon, she loves her friends, and when she meets Landon, she starts to fall in love with him. But the law officials starts to move against the Apaches. And then Maggie's sister gets into trouble, and is in desperate need of medical attention. Maggie accepts Alvar's offer to live at his house and become acquainted with his relics, for Maggie's health and well-being. So, this book is basically split into two parts: Maggie's time at the saloon, with Landon, and Adelaide, and figuring out how to help the Apaches. And then, Maggie's time at Alvar's hacienda, learning about relics, and wondering about her life and how she can help the Apaches. I love the historical aspect of this book. Ms. Collins does her research so well - I can tell she knows what she's talking about, in terms of Old Colorado. Maggie's voice is unmistakable, and completely authentic, in my opinion.  The plot of the story is pretty good. I was interested the entire time, right up until the end. The end kind of did not hold my interest, and I sort of skimmed it. I mean, I read it, but not as thoroughly as I read the rest of the book. But Ms. Collins definitely takes her readers on a ride! Everything about the relics and the powers and the mystery is so intriguing! I almost forgot that somehow, the burning towns have to connect to the relics. It all comes together at the end! The romance is sweet. Poor Landon has to deal with Maggie and her shenanigans. First, she flat-out rejects him. Then she likes him. Then she leaves him (and everyone) when she goes to live with Alvar. Then she gets jealous because she's seen with someone else. Then they have a totally hot make-out session. Then... the climax and the end of the book (in terms of the romance) was surprising. Read it to know what I mean! All in all, I enjoyed this book, and I'm pleased to have had the chance to read it early! What I Did Not Like: There were small things that bothered me. Like, for one, I really hated Maggie's sister. She's conceited, selfish, a total brat, rude, ungrateful, and she's like, seven? Ten? Somewhere around there. It's not like she was SPOILED when their parents and brother were alive. I don't know or understand why she expected royal treatment the duration of the book. Gosh, I hate her so much. HATE. HER. And like I said above, I kind of lost interest in the very end of the book. I didn't read it quite as closely as the rest of the book, mostly because I seriously did not understand what was going on. I re-read the end twice, and I still don't understand some thing. Whatever. I get the gist of things. And I totally feel bad for Alvar, despite his sleaziness.  Would I Recommend It: Yep! If you like historical fiction books, check this one out! This book shared a different time in history than I'm used to, but I really liked it and I'm satisfied with the historical aspect of the book, as well as mostly everything else! Rating: 3.5 stars -&gt; rounded up to 4 stars. I like giving debut authors the benefit of the doubt. And I really did enjoy this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unique, and breath taking! I'm not going to lie, this is nothing like what I was expecting, which is a good thing. As my first line states unique, that word fits this book like a glove. Blending a genuine old west setting with a magical element that keeps every character on their toes, really kept me into this book until the absolute end. Maggie, to me, was a great heroine. Attempting to find balance after such a life shattering event is hard, but she does what is necessary while maintaining moral, values and a good head on her should. Taking a job, making an honest living....that is until the very handsome Mr. Castilla makes her an offer she finds that not even she can turn down. No she doesn't turn into his mistress (I thought that's where it was going), she starts learning about the different degrees of relics. From standard Sirens, to deadly Banshee, even the ultra rare - and outlawed - vampire relics. There isn't a single one that Mr. Castilla hasn't obtained. Maggie starts to realize there's something extremely special within her. The way she can feel a relic is unlike any other, and of course Mr. Castilla wants to collect her rare ability like he collects rare relics! There was a part, about 85% of the way through that I felt was a tad bit rushed....and unveiling of sort, if you wish to call it that....I wish that a little more time could had been spent digging into that secret, but I understand how the story line &amp; side plots must all run their own course. So now I HAVE to talk about Landon, I swoon! &lt;3333333 Imagine wranglers, boots and a cowboy get the picture. This boy stole my heart, and still hasn't given it back. The gentleness he holds for Maggie, the lengths that he'll go to just to ensure her safety, well being &amp; dignity gives me chills. Every man should take notes from him! Overall I really enjoyed this book! Relic was a deep breath of fresh air for me, it took any expectations that I had &amp; morphed them into my wildest dreams. Take you favorite myths, splash them with magic, now add a dash of mystery, shake it all up &amp; that will give you Relic!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Relic is a fantastic, fun read from a talented new author, Renee Collins. The plot is fast-paced from the first page, and there wasn't a moment that dragged. For the most part the characters are vivid and realistically written, and the dialogue was western-flavored without being overwhelming. One of the strongest aspects of Relic was the setting. The Western spin is an angle that's not too common in fantasy, and it provided a rich backdrop for the action of the novel. I loved the atmosphere of the book - Collins did a great job. I was also glad to see a premise/magic system that hasn't been done before. The idea of Relics (bones of magical creatures) providing people with magical abilities is - as far as I know- unique. Considering how much they featured in the plot, however, I would have liked a little more explanation as to how exactly they worked - it seems to vary based on what's needed for the plot. Individual relics seem to work on contact, or by ingestion, but there are also guns which are somehow powered by relics, and that's never really explained at all. Considering he was the major love interest, I would have liked to have seen more of Landon. I also would have liked him to be a bit more involved in the investigation of the burnings/mystery of the unknown relic/something! There's a scene were he chastises Maggie for getting caught up with Alvar and life at the hacienda, but it's not like he's doing much of anything, his relationship with Maggie felt a bit rushed. There were a few hints that Maggie might see Yahn as a potential love interest as well, which I thought was silly and unneeded, but that's probably just my bias (I strongly dislike multiple love interests). I liked that I couldn't figure Alvar out - one moment he was kind, the next entitled and demanding. There were some moments where I felt his characterization was a bit too inconsistent...and I found the explanation of his behavior to be a bit of a cop-out. I prefer my villains not to be 'evil' have some sort of motivation, however twisted, for what they are doing. That doesn't appear to be the case for the ultimate antagonist in this book. Despite these nitpicks, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Relic, and if there is a sequel - the ending seems well set up for one - I will certainly read it! Full disclosure: I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Bonnie_W More than 1 year ago
RELIC is unlike any fantasy novel I've read before. For one thing, it takes place in the Wild West. I've never read any fantasy novel from this time period before. The use of relics composed of the bones of extinct fantastic beasts is also innovative and new, at least to me. The book is just the right length, too. I prefer my fantasy novels longer, because I lose something when they're too short. Characters, setting, world-building...something is always underdeveloped. RELIC clocks in at 400 pages, but it reads so fast that I could easily believe I read half that in the time it took me to devour this book. When it came to the end, I wanted more. Despite a full-circle ending, there's enough room for a sequel should Renee Collins choose to write one, and I already want it if she does! Collins chooses to throw readers straight into the action from page one. Maggie has been left at home in charge of her two younger siblings while her parents went to a political meeting. The only problem? They never come home. Maggie sees fire on the horizon and riders with torches heading her way. She rounds up her brother and sister, and together they flee to their safe place. Even that is no longer safe, though, and right when they're about to be devoured by fire, a young Apache warrior,Yahn, swoops in to save the day. Maggie loses so much that fateful night, but is determined to live and survive. She goes to Burning Mesa, a local town, looking for work in a relic refinery, only to be propositioned by a shady man looking for a new girl for The Desert Rose, his seedy saloon. She refuses to degrade herself in such a place, and manages to get a job on the wait staff instead. Her visit at the relic refinery doesn't go unnoticed, however, and more eyes are watching her than she can imagine. Maggie has a way with relics, a way that people will go to great lengths to control. She finds herself in a dangerous game of survival as towns continue to burn and the truth behind her abilities begins to come out. More on my blog A Backwards Story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First off, I want to say how much I LOVE the magic system Renee Collins has created in this world. As someone with a fascination for shiny new toys in the fantasy game, I deeply appreciated the vivid worldbuilding encapsulated in these glittering pieces of bone. I finished the book half-convinced that relics were, in fact, real, and very nearly able to feel one lying heavy around my very own neck. I also enjoyed the Wild West setting of the story, something I haven't seen much of in the fantasy genre. That said, I found that the rest of book fell a little flat. I had a little difficulty connecting with Maggie, the main character, although I did enjoy her distinctly Western storytelling voice. I took a loooong time warming up to Landon, her love interest -- to the point that I found myself hoping he was just a stepping stone on the way to someone else. And the plot, well, it wasn't a page-turner for me, but the fascinating magic system and general enjoyability of the book means I'll be reading the sequel if there is one. I rate this book an evening huddled around a smoky campfire, roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories while roaming packs of coyotes howl at ... whatever it is that coyotes howl at. Assuming that coyotes howl. Which maybe they don't. Clearly I'm not the one writing a Western.
BookLabyrinth More than 1 year ago
&lsquo;Relic&rsquo; is a book that is magical, exciting, and unique. It completely stands on its own, not reminding me of anything I've read before. &lsquo;Relic&rsquo; is a Western style fantasy, an alternate history that contains magical relics, which are the bones of long dead magical creatures. There&rsquo;s the cowboys and saloons you would expect in a Western, but there&rsquo;s also magic and magical predators. The book is also a mystery, with Maggie trying to figure out who is burning towns and why. Maggie&rsquo;s parents and her brother were killed in the razing of her village, so she has a personal stake in figuring out who the culprit is and making sure they pay. &lsquo;Relic&rsquo; also has a romantic element, though it&rsquo;s a light part of the story, and there&rsquo;s some chemistry with other characters. Landon is the swoony cowboy character, while &Aacute;lvar is a mysterious benefactor who has a dangerous sexiness to him. That being said, this book doesn&rsquo;t contain a love triangle at all, which I appreciated. Maggie is a great main character. She&rsquo;s bright, brave, and totally competent. She wants justice and will work hard for it, but she&rsquo;s also not afraid to ask for help and admit when she's in over her head. I loved reading her story, and I found &lsquo;Relic&rsquo; to be a completely fascinating novel. It&rsquo;s intense with action and magic, and the story line is incredibly interesting. I appreciated how there was a full conclusion to the mystery element with just enough larger plot dangling to make you want to read more in this world. I fully enjoyed this fantastical debut, and I can&rsquo;t wait to read more from Renee Collins.
lchardesty More than 1 year ago
Relic is an uber-creative alternate historical fantasy. The magic system and world-building in this story are amazing. The opening chapter is COMPLETELY GUTWRENCHING--I immediately felt for Maggie's situation. The characters felt both historical and very true to the world. I didn't connect with the romance as much as I would have liked, but overall this was a great read.
forevrsearchin More than 1 year ago
A Relic is a historical fantasy western - definitely not your average book genre, yet somehow it works, really well. I had heard about the book and was intrigued but wasn't too sold on the setting. After reading Relic, I'm eating my thoughts on that completely.  This book works wonderfully. The fantasy-western setting is truly breathtaking and is a great backdrop for the characters that Collins has created.  There are great scenes in this book that really move the story along and keep the reader engaged and entertained. But at the same time, I felt as though there were just as many that were somewhat of filler scenes.  I realize that not all scenes in a book can be action but I felt the ups were very up and the downs were very down.  Relic is a great read. Surely the only novel, that I know of, in this genre. And well worth the read.  I received an ARC ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
LucyEverdeen28 More than 1 year ago
Although I had some minor problems with Relic, I mostly enjoyed it, and I'd recommend it to fantasy fans who are looking for something unique. What I liked: Hands down, my absolute favorite thing about Relic is the setting. How often do you read a YA book - with fantasy elements, no less - set in the West? It's a creative and enthralling setting, and Collins writes the descriptions of the land very well. I'm usually not a fan of westerns, but Relic has changed my mind about that! Also, the plot held my attention pretty well. The opening chapters are very gripping and action-packed. The plot slows down slightly in the middle of the book, when Maggie and her sister are staying at Alvar Castilla's home. I felt like I was waiting for something to happen, but the plot picks up quickly after that and there are lots more developments. And there's an awesome little twist at the end that I didn't see coming! I liked most of the characters in Relic, especially the minor characters. Maggie got on my nerves here and there, but I really liked her little sister Ella and her friend Adelaide. I thought Alvar Castilla to be very stereotypical at first, but he turned into a rather fascinating character with hidden layers to him. What I didn't like: I did get annoyed with Maggie sometimes. I like that she thinks things through and is very practical, but she makes some foolish decisions that I didn't like. For example, staying at Castilla's house and letting herself get swept away in a life of luxury. It didn't really fit her &quot;sensible&quot; character and I got irritated with her at times. And I wasn't crazy about Landon, the love interest. He seemed too much like your typical YA love interest to me: he's a bit of a &quot;bad boy,&quot; but of course he has a sweet side and immediately falls in love with the heroine. So I just wasn't really a fan of the romance. Another small issue is Maggie's sister Ella. Great character, and I loved the relationship between the two, but I wish she'd had more development. Maggie was always going on about how much she loved Ella and wanted to take care of her, but Ella was never really in enough of the scenes. I would've liked her character to have a bigger role. Still, these are just little things I noticed, and for the most part Relic is an entertaining story with a brilliant setting and creative fantasy elements. I can't wait to read more of this author's work!
JABelfield More than 1 year ago
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected my opinion of the book. So, I did my regular old milarky of accepting a review book without even reading the blurb again. However, there is nothing quite like the feeling when you know you&rsquo;ve opened the pages into a land of something pretty special. Because Relic just seemed so fresh to me. It&rsquo;s unique to other books I&rsquo;ve read lately. It&rsquo;s original. And the characters? Man, the characters are great. Young Maggie leads the way in Relic, and from the off we connect with her&mdash;how can one not as she witnesses a fire destroy her home, followed by her brother&rsquo;s sacrifice so she and her sister can be rescued by an Apache and live, and she suspects her parents are ravaged by the same fire that has stolen her life. And all this happens within the first few pages. This is such a powerful opening, ensuring young Maggie has our attention, our empathy, and our hearts, and demands we sit up and want to fight her corner. And she does a great job of clinging tight to us the entire way through. From one catastrophe to another, Maggie faces challenge after challenge and trial after trial, the overcoming of each one seeming to lead her to the next. Even when a potential love interest is woven in, Maggie is challenged&mdash;though that&rsquo;s mostly by herself, her naivety and insecurities. Landon is an AWESOME cowboy. He&rsquo;s cute. He&rsquo;s flawed. He&rsquo;s pretty &lsquo;real&rsquo;, and I enjoyed his company easily as much as Maggie did&mdash;and possibly more. However, he&rsquo;s not the only male on the scene, and the reader is left confused about that&mdash;not so much who she might be wooed by, but with whom she&rsquo;s meant to end up. Because there&rsquo;s the Apache, who is equally as awesome as Landon, and with a much deeper and meaningful connection to Maggie, which the reader has a tough time trying to interpret. I mean, even once it all comes to light and that element of the story unfolds, it&rsquo;s difficult to tell just how &lsquo;deep&rsquo; a connection there is between Maggie and him, and on what level they&rsquo;re meant to be drawn together. And then we also have rich dude, who shouldn&rsquo;t even pay the likes of Maggie any mind but is being &lsquo;charitable&rsquo; to her from the off: Alvar. From the get-go, the reader doesn&rsquo;t quite know what to make of him. Is he genuine? Isn&rsquo;t he? Does he want more from Maggie? Or is he honest in his intents? He sends off so many mixed signals&mdash;for good reason&mdash;that I don&rsquo;t think even he knows whether he&rsquo;s coming or going. And Alvar keeps you guessing right up to the very end&mdash;because he is one of the best mysteries to be unfolded within this book. Which brings us to the plot. It was, in a nutshell, great. The intricate weavings and tightly tucked in threads, and the twists and turns and surprises, and betrayals and lies and deceit, and the so-greatly-portrayed characters that anybody could be behind the burnings&mdash;all of this keeps the reader turning those pages with an eagerness to discover exactly where we&rsquo;re all being taken. My only complaints regarding Relic are: 1) I wasn&rsquo;t sure completely of the world building. Like: is it set in an evolved version of our own world? Because it appears to be (though I&rsquo;m not from the US to recognise if the places were real). But, then, if it&rsquo;s set in our world, what time period is it set in. Or has the author taken complete creative license on this front? Although not knowing this didn&rsquo;t really stop me enjoying the story, I did keep pondering from time to time, and it would have been better if that was completely clear. And 2) I wasn&rsquo;t wholly sure for a little while on Maggie&rsquo;s age. By the time I noticed her age mentioned, I&rsquo;d been reading a while. If it was mentioned prior to that, it wasn&rsquo;t done so prominently enough to embed in my brain. And I had trouble grasping her age. In parts, she seemed a little older than she was meant to be. I understand that dramatic circumstances in a life can force a person into maturity, but she seemed mature from the off, rather than growing into that. I think I wanted a little more of her naivety to show through&mdash;especially regarding certain aspects of the book that would be considered inappropriate, in this day and age even, for a 16 year old to be around (because it was like none of the laws of our world today applied in this created version of it). But, again, this only stalled me for minor ponderings and didn&rsquo;t exactly mar my reading pleasure. Anyway, those small gripes aside, I truly am greatly looking forward to the second instalment. I mean, more cowboys, and Wild West type scenery, and action, and legacy, love, loss, and betrayal, and magic, PLUS a fantasy-like feel to the writing that flows with little trouble? Dude, sign me up.