YA-review: Bond of Venom and Magic by Karin Tomlison

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!

Bond of Venom and Magic Book Cover Bond of Venom and Magic
The Goddess and the Guardian #1
Karen Tomlison
young adult, fantasy, coming of age, adventure
Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
March 25, 2017
A copy was provided through Netgalley

A breathtaking fantasy romance, the first in a sensational new series by British author Karen Tomlinson.

Magic awakens. Darkness stirs. The Wraith Lord is hunting.

The war raging in the South seems a remote danger for seventeen-year-old Diamond Gillon until her home is brutally attacked by the Wraith Lord’s monstrous hunters. Catapulted into a terrifying new world where legendary beasts arise, magic is condemned, and half-blood fae like her have no rights, Diamond is inexplicably drawn to her saviour. But Commander Hugo Casimir is a ruthless elite guard owned by a cruel, immortal fae queen who will murder her own people for magic.

As she sinks deeper into Hugo’s world, Diamond’s circumstances become ever more perilous, for the Queen desires her magic and covets the very same prize as the Wraith Lord. To discover who she truly is, Diamond must escape the Queen’s clutches—before her fate, and that of The Eight Kingdoms, is sealed in shadow and chaos.

Will Hugo prove to be her friend, her protector, or an enemy not worthy of her trust?

A Bond of Venom and Magic is an epic fantasy tale, ideal for mature Young Adult readers. Fans of Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo will love to discover this spectacular new world steeped in dragons, monsters, and armoured winged warriors.

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