If you are like me figuring out what to get people for holidays can be tricky. As I have gotten older, had kids, and moved a handful of times I have come to realize that I want to give and receive gifts that are practical, useful, and won’t generate more clutter. With that being said, I have also come to love the idea of a good, solid subscription box type gift item as well. Something that a person has expressed a love or interest in that they can get more of on a regular basis. Subscription boxes are the gifts that keep on giving all year long.
For Christmas this year I got Dusty a “Rootbeer of the Month” subscription. Each month he gets 12 bottles of whatever brand the rootbeer of the month is. He also gets a little information sheet about the brand and the make of that month’s blend. So far he has seemed to really enjoy it. BUT since I got him a subscription for Christmas, he decided he needed to share the year long gift and he subscribed me to a “Book of the Month” subscription! AND I LOVE IT!!
Each month the company, Book of the Month, puts out a list of between 5 and 7 books that I then get to choose from. They will ship me the book and I get the chance to go on a new adventure from the comfort of my own home!
When I began looking at the books that were available to me in February, when my subscription began, I’ll be honest when I say I was a bit overwhelmed. It was so hard to choose which book to add to my shipment (I could have added more but it would have cost extra) but I finally made a choice. So without further ado, here is my review of my first Book of the Month book:
A River Enchanted by Rebecca Moss
Jack Tamerlaine hasn’t stepped foot on Cadence in ten long years, content to study music at the mainland university. But when young girls start disappearing from the isle, Jack is summoned home to help find them. Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind, plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instill fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home. Adaira, heiress of the east and Jack’s childhood enemy, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, and she hopes Jack can draw them forth by song, enticing them to return the missing girls.
As Jack and Adaira reluctantly work together, they find they make better allies than rivals as their partnership turns into something more. But with each passing song, it becomes apparent the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than they first expected, and an older, darker secret about Cadence lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.
With unforgettable characters, a fast-paced plot, and compelling world building, A River Enchanted is a stirring story of duty, love, and the power of true partnership, and marks Rebecca Ross’s brilliant entry on the adult fantasy stage. (Summary taken directly from https://www.bookofthemonth.com/all-books/a-river-enchanted-1153)
What I Loved
I have been on this “fantasy, adventure, mystery” kick for a while (pretty much ever since I graduated from Seminary) so I was almost immediately drawn to this particular story. I loved the character development as well as the imagery used to describe the country. The author has a brilliant way of painting a picture of the story through the use of her words. I was impressed with the attention to detail she used as she described things that would be native to the Scotland area, the history and folklore of the culture, and the understanding of how those things have to tie together to make even something that is fantasy and made up seem like it could be real.
While this book is labeled as an “adult” book, I felt that all the sensitive areas are handled tastefully. The most troubling aspect is the fact that much of the story is centered around the kidnapping of 4 young girls. For my “mama-heart” this part was hard to read and reconcile with, especially considering the girls being taken aren’t much older than my own daughters. However, throughout the book the author is sensitive to the nature of this story line and she handles it gracefully, ensuring that even with the question of if the girls will be returned or not, they are cared for and healthy. **SPOLIER ALERT** They are eventually returned home and all is well.
As for other sensitive areas, there is some physical violence and discussion of bloodshed. There is a woman who is physically assaulted while trying to prevent a kidnapping and there are sacrifices of health and well-being for the sake of wielding magic to unfold the mystery at hand. There are also a few discussions of intimacy but they are all more about the deepening of the relationship between husband and wife and there is no graphic content.
What I Didn’t Like
When I read the reviews for this book the biggest complaint was that it was a slow start and I would have to say that I agree to an extent. However, I don’t think it took as long as some have said to get into the meat of the story.
This book also focuses a lot on the relationship between humanity and the spirits of the elements. There is a lot of emphasis on how the spirits are vengeful and how the people have to work to appease them. While I understand the necessity for this it would have been nice to have a bit of a different connection at least with some of the elemental spirits. I am hoping that this relationship is developed more in the next book to come.
If you are interested in fantasy, mystery, or a combination of the two I would HIGHLY recommend this book. This was such a page turner for me that there are several mornings I woke up with serious regret because I could just not make myself put the book down and go to sleep. I am very anxiously awaiting the publishing of the next book which is to come in December of 2022.
So there it is, my first Book of the Month review. I hope that you enjoyed it and if you choose to read this story I hope you will enjoy that as much as I did. If you do, come back and leave me a comment letting me know your thoughts.
And lastly, if you are interested in your own Book of the Month subscription check out my referral link: https://www.mybotm.com/d3vx9dcqzu8?show_box=true. If you use this link it will help get me credits for more new books that I can read and maybe even recommend!