Monday, 23 January 2012

A Review for Morrigan's Harvest (The War for Inisfail) by Kaiya Hart

Posted by Guest Reviewer Melanie
Published Date: December 22nd, 2011
Finished Date: January 19th, 2012
Source: For Review
Format: Kindle
Pages: Unknown
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The Blurb from Goodreads: Shea is living a simple, country life and is well pleased with it. Then Galen, the elf guardian Shea's mother chose for her, appears. Between the threat of being carried off by him and a vicious attack on her village, everything begins to change. Shea sets off on a noble quest, but what begins as only a rescue mission will reveal dark secrets buried deep within the heart of her magical world. Shea must discover a way to overcome the obstacles in her path while learning about her own capacity for hatred and love. If she cannot balance the two, she may lose more than just her friends. She might end up losing herself.

The Review: Morrigan’s Harvest is told through the eyes of 21 year old Shea. When we first meet Shea it is her 15th birthday and her mother Brenna has given her a locket that she has always worn with strange writing on it and regales her with stories of all things magical, not all with a happy ending. They lead a simple life, Shea is good with horses and her mother is known as the ‘town witch’, feared by most of the villagers and Shea has a crush on the Lord’s son Tamerick. Shortly after her birthday, her mother becomes unwell and dies but not before sending a secret letter to an anonymous person via the gypsies and in return getting a strange message from the gypsy seer.

Fast forward 6 years- Shea is now 21 and employed by the Lord to train the horses, she still has feelings for Tamerick – which everyone disagrees with – and Rook, her mothers’ friend has become her guardian. Everything is fine until the recipient of the letter finally turns up demanding that Shea be turned over to his care and leaves with him immediately. She does not want to go and leave everything she has ever known but fate has other plans and when her village is invaded and her friends and neighbours (including Tamerick) took to be used as slaves, she decides that those left are the captives’ only chance for freedom. So, along with her 2 guardians, 2 mercenaries and her temperamental horse, Shea sets off on her quest for freedom and justice, leading them into all sorts of dangerous encounters. Can she accomplish her quest? Will she ever see Tamerick again? Will she survive?

Shea is a great character, her village is all she has ever known and her world collapsed with the death of her mother, she mourns so long she begins to think she might never get over it. So, in the beginning we see that she is just a young girl, who has a crush on a friend, really innocent who becomes lost after the death of her mother. When her new guardian turns up we see a different side to her, she’s stubborn - to say the least but then as the plot goes on we get a whole range of emotions from her, devastation, anger, sorrow, determination, regret. . . . We get it all as she is forced to see the world for what it truly is and face facts that her mother wasn’t who she thought she was and everyone seemed to know except her. She has an awful lot to deal with in this as you see her evolve and it’s just the beginning of the series so you can imagine what she will become. Now, Galen – There is one complicated character if ever you met one, even after reading the book I still don’t get him or maybe that’s because we are seeing him through Shea’s eyes. But, I liked him and he has left an impression, I definitely want to know more about him. He is mysterious. . . .
Loving her horse too, I’m not an animal lover but when they are involved – I like ones with attitude. . . Go Aisling! Even Tam too but I’ll leave him for you to discover.

I really enjoyed this book and the only reason it isn’t a 5* is because I was nearly put off by the really slow start, to me it was overly descriptive and didn’t really grab me until about the 20% mark but saying that, there is a lot of important things that needed to be told during that. That is quite easy to overlook though because it got really good soon after and kept my attention throughout. It is quite a long read, somewhere between 950-1000 kindle pages but don’t let that put you off because the author takes us on an epic fantasy adventure with the unlikely gang on their travels through a kingdom on the brink of destruction. It’s like Shea has to go through certain trials in her life to become a better person as the road to their goal is fraught with danger. I liked that they often told her stories of times past either about her mother, giving her a glimpse of the woman they knew so that their version didn’t seem like a stranger or stories of the magical world filled with knowledge that could help her tackle or outwit the things she would be up against. It always seemed to be relevant to where the plot was heading and gave little clues, loved it. The enemies they came across were truly sinister and that made for a scary rollercoaster ride of a book. The world is quite elaborate too, with the different cities, towns, villages, lakes, woods, mountains which is filled with all manner of creatures – humans, elves, goblins, kelpies, mermaids, gypsies etc. with opposing faiths and way of life, so it’s a vast world that we have been introduced to and I didn’t want it to end! It reminded me of Lord of the Rings in some ways- I am a fan – the journey part more than anything but I think that was a plus for me.

The next book is set up by the end of this so you know where it’s headed and that the next part of their journey isn’t going to be easy but I’m really looking forward to it. I want to see Shea become something amazing, I want to see her get justice for all those who have been wronged, rescue all of her people and save the world! I also want to get to the bottom of Galen, what stories could he tell? What skeletons are in his closet? And what was in the letter!!! So I’m expecting a lot more from him. I wonder what they will come up against next? I can’t wait. 4.5 out of 5! 

1 comment:

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

Great review! I haven't heard of this book before, but it sounds amazing! I love that it starts out with a 15 year old Shea and then it fast forwards to the present. I know it's hard to read a book that starts out really slow but I'm glad that you pushed through it and it ended up being worth it! Definitely adding to my TBR list.

Andrea
Cozy Up With A Good Read