16 July 2010

Mistwood by Leah Cypess

The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood.

But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty--because without it, she may be his greatest threat.

Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.
So picture this: the trials of Lady Katsa (Graceling by Kristin Cashore) tossed in with a watered-down Tamora Pierce writing style. And don't fret! That is a huge compliment! Most authors don't write in the same REALM as Tamora Pierce. But as I was reading, all I could think was...Wow. This lady writes pretty well and there was something that hinted at Tamora Pierce style. Was it the political intrigue? The numerous assassination attempts? The family history? I don't know. It was something like a well-done mix.

Mistwood was a fascinating read. Isabel is struggling with her lost memory and with the expectations of everyone around her. Her world is confusing as she battles with her human desires--so unlike the feelings the Shifter isn't supposed to feel at all. It was an interesting topic: battling with your own humanity.  Have you ever thought what it means to be human?

People may claim that you can't get into Isabel's character because she's hello--a Shifter, a non-human. Really? Isabel's inhumanity actually brightly contrasts what is human about her.  Her battle was fascinating to me and very touching. She's trying to figure out what it means to be human and as she discovers that, she has a lot of the insecurities we already have.

I do hope there's a sequel. Leah Cypess has an incredible style and I loved this story--even though it could have been improved in a lot of places. If she had expanded on a few things, it would have made the book a bit longer. But still. I like it fine just how it is.

Book Info:
  • pages - 304 
  • published - April 27th 
  • publisher - Greenwillow Books 
  • genre - fantasy 
  • rating- 5/5