Relic

Relic

by Renee Collins
4.2 34

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Relic 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 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.
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
This is a different kind of fantasy novel. Instead of going back to the lands of castles, knights, and mages, we go to a sort wild west frontier world. The ancient mythological creatures all existed and have now gone extinct, but their magic was captured in the relics and bones they left behind. People who can harness the magic trapped in these relics are highly sought after, and it gives them a lot of powerful abilities. Maggie falls into the dangerous world of relics when her family is killed in a relic-spawned fire. Her life takes some really crazy turns from working in a traditional wild west saloon to living in the local mansion on the whim of the owner. He promises to teach how to harness the power of the relics, but of course, we have to have a bad guy, and he's it. He has a lot of ulterior motives. I was so happy to see that Maggie caught on to them so quickly. She's a smart girl, and seeing that play out without her blindly going along was quite refreshing. The big drawback of this was that it ends like a series - but there's nothing more out there. The ending was really a bit of a letdown. While there's a lot that's wrapped up, there's promises made and more things to go do and figure out. **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book**
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Relic by Renee Collins! The story begins when three siblings run from a fire and only two survive with the help of an Apache. Maggie and Ella survive, but their brother Jeb does not. Now it's up to Maggie to raise Ella on her own. Maggie waitresses at the local saloon and restaurant. She meets Landon and his two friends there. At first, Maggie trusts no one, but she soon sees that Landon, Bobby and Adelaide are true friends. The fires continue to be started in different towns and the communities are blaming the Apache people. Maggie isn't so sure about this because her Apache friend saved her and Ella from the fire. I love the western setting within this fantasy story and the broad group of characters keeps the story interesting. The characters are all very dynamic and surprises keep coming. 5 stars for this imaginative and original story.
callmesensei14 More than 1 year ago
I was provided a free copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Relic introduces an interesting premise: an alternate version of the Wild West where mythical creatures bones are mined and sold to the highest bidder. All of the ancient fantastical creatures of lore have died but their bones still contain their magical powers. Dragon bones allow the user to wield fire, siren bones allow the user to manipulate minds and water, vampire bones let the user drain life, etc. But the relics are costly and not everybody has access to them. Maggie Davis has a strong interest in the relics. She's read about all of the ancient creatures and their magical powers. But she doesn't have the training or the money to use relics herself. And then, the majority of her family is killed in a fire that is caused by a relic and Maggie must learn more about these relics to find the person who killed her family. I was really enchanted by the premise here but I just didn't think the execution did this amazing premise any justice for 3 major reasons: 1. I just couldn't connect to the main character, Maggie. I felt that she was constantly all over the place emotionally. And maybe that's because she was constantly being pulled in so many different directions but I couldn't really get a feel for who she was beyond all the people she was connected to. 2. The setting of this novel, the Wild West, allows for so many different diverse groups. And Collins introduces the reader to the Apaches, Haciendas, Chinese laborers, and even a Sheikh. But despite the melting pot of cultures that is presented in this book, I didn't really get a feel for any of those cultures besides maybe a very basic understanding of the Apache. I feel like this was a missed opportunity. 3. And finally, I felt like the writing was simplistic and all over the place. Sometimes an idea or a character would be introduced and then not returned to for quite some time. And it just felt really disjointed to read. Overall, I would give this 2 stars.
onemused More than 1 year ago
“Relic” is a historical paranormal novel about Maggie, a teenaged girl who lives with her brother, sister and parents in the wild west. The book begins when a ravaging fire appears in town, taking the lives of her parents and brother. She and her little sister, Ella, are saved by her friend from when she was younger, Yahn, who is an Apache. Maggie is left destitute and with her little sister to care for. When she is looking for a job, despite her lack of training at any particular skill, she meets Alvar, a rich man and collector of relics. Relics are the paranormal part of this story, and Maggie has always been fascinated by them. They are very expensive so not many people can own them. Relics are pieces of magical creatures (like fossils) that used to exist, such as unicorns and dragons. Each relic can be used to fuel a certain type of magic (e.g. fire, water, earth). We are introduced to this idea with the use of a unicorn horn in Maggie’s hands to heal. Some relics have more magic left in them than others. Maggie appears to have a special skill with relics and she has always been fascinated with them. Alvar takes a special interest in her because of this. A lot of the book is Maggie being concerned about being seen as a lady and not as a prostitute or a woman of loose morals. She is a little obsessed with this idea, perhaps because it was drilled into her head by her mother before her death. Apparently, prostitution is one of the only jobs available to young women at that time (in the book). I’m not sure how true that is. Anyway, Maggie is offered a job to help with serving and cleaning at the brothel Alvar owns. There she meets Adelaide, one of the “working girls” there. Adelaide also has a cowboy fiancé and that fiancé has a friend, Landon. I wasn’t really buying Maggie and Adelaide’s friendship, as Maggie seems to want very little to do with Adelaide, but I guess when you are practically alone, you need someone who cares about you, and this is what they are to each other. I would label them as more of acquaintances. A bit of a love triangle emerges between Maggie, Landon, and Yahn, but not really. It felt a little forced and awkward, as did most of Maggie’s relationships (friends or otherwise). Maggie seemed a little abstract as a person and I had trouble pinning her character down/understanding her. For that reason, this book fell a little short for me. Additionally, it moves very, very slowly, and I had a hard time really getting into the storyline. Maggie is kind of trying to figure out who started the fire that killed most of her family- but mostly (it seemed to me) just wandering through life and trying to be seen as a proper lady. It felt a little flat to me. However, that being said, the world creation was really interesting and unique- I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like this combination of wild west and magic. Overall, it was a unique and intriguing book. I’d give it 3.5 stars, but I am rounding up to 4. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is unlike any other i have read. I love the setting, the concept of relics and the characters. Totally worth the read and i hope theres a sequel that follows up with the cavern and the relic expert.
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
JOIN ATHENIAN CONSTITUTION
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 hat....mmmmmm...you 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 either...plus, 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'...to 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.