A Bond of Venom and Magic was written by Karen Tomlinson and self-published. It’s a story that I acquired through Netgalley and I was excited by the description. I like epic fantasy stories, especially if they are young adult. However, A Bond of Venom and Magic was a story that just didn’t workout for me. It’s been sitting on my ereader for a while now and I started and re-started this story several times.
What is the story about?
A Bond of Venom and Magic is very much an adventure with romance elements and a coming of age story set in a world at war. Diamond doesn’t has it easy. Her world is at war and she is ruthlessly hunted by the Wraith Lord and his minions. Apparently her only hope is going to a city where half-fae like her have no rights at all. It’s where she meets Hugo, a guard for an immortal (evil evil) Fae Queen who – of course – covets Diamond just as much as the Wraith Lord
What worked for me?
I did like the setting and the world building. It’s very doom and gloom. The world is very gritty and dark. There are numerous magical creatures and adventure. I thought the world was very imaginative and creative. In that regard the set-up of the world is well crafted.
What didn’t work for me?
The characters, Diamond for one, Hugo for another and the secondary characters such as the prince, Rose, Zane. The fell very flat for me and not especially well developed. While I appreciate that Diamond is not your typical instant hero of the story and has panic attacks, she missed that backbone or strong will that you need in a hero, even the most unlikely heroes. I understand what the author was trying to do with creating characters that were very much different from your average fantasy story, but I think the execution fell short.
The story was also very slow going, while that isn’t a problem for me normally, in this story it didn’t work combined with the other elements. The writing itself wasn’t bad, it was solid, but it could have done with a little more polishing.
All in all, I think there will be readers who will very much love A Bond of Venom and Magic, but it wasn’t a book for me. Diamond just made me growl way too much!