Thursday, October 4, 2012

Soulbound (Legacy of Tril #1) by Heather Brewer: review

Goodreads rating: 4.12
Hardcover, 394 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by DIAL

Tril is a world where Barrons and Healers are Bound to each other: Barrons fight and Healers cure their Barrons' wounds in the ongoing war with the evil Graplar King. Seventeen-year-old Kaya was born a Healer, but she wants to fight. In Tril, and at Shadow Academy, where she is sent to learn to heal, it is against Protocol for Healers to fight. So Kaya must learn in secret. Enter two young men: One charming, rule-following Barron who becomes Bound to Kaya and whose life she must protect at all costs. And one with a mysterious past who seems bent on making Kaya's life as difficult as possible. Kaya asks both to train her, but only one will, and the consequences will change their lives forever.

Kaya, our main character in this fantasy world of Tril, has been born a Healer. Her parents, who are fugitives from the law (they're both Barrons and Barrons aren't allowed to be with each other) have taught her a little about fighting. But she never expects for the government to find her and force her to go to school at Shadow Academy so that they don't kill her parents. Since one of the beasts of the forest already killed her best friend, she couldn't take losing someone else. Her parents told her before she left that the boy she was Soulbound to died when he was born and so she will be assigned to another. But Kaya gets a lot more than she bargained for, and learning to fight for her life and her Barron's is nearly impossible. I wanted to like this novel so badly, but it just didn't do it for me. I expected a lot more, and it just let me down. Partly it was because of the writing. I've heard that her other series (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod) is really awesome, but she didn't quite transition well enough from those books to this fantasy. While I liked the world, there were a lot of things that felt too close to current high school society.

Ah, the love triangle. I must admit that this was done well. Trayton and Darius are completely different guys, yet they claim to be great friends. Trayton is the one Kaya is Bound to pretty much as soon as she gets to the academy, while Darius is a teacher at the school. Apparently he looks older than he really is. And he's definitely not who he seems. There's a big twist at the end of the novel that involves him, which is actually the cliffhanger. But I started to believe in Kaya's feelings for Trayton. Trayton is a broken character but he's very resilient. His Soulbound healer recently died and they were romantically involved as well. So he's opening himself up to Kaya and honestly doesn't seem to broken up about her being dead. Darius is on a whole other level. He seems to have it out for Kaya, and she has no idea why. Her guard didn't show up when she was on her way to the Academy for the first time and he saved her from an attack by a Grapler (one of the things that killed her best friend). Then he treats her horribly. So of course he's the one I fall for. But, like I said, there are a few things about him that no one knows, and it involves Kaya. This love triangle is about to get seriously complicated.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between Maddox and Kaya. Maddox doesn't really care what people think and has an attitude. At first, she hates Kaya because she thinks she's just another prissy Healer who looks down on people that they aren't Bound to. But since Kaya was raised away from all that and by two Barrons, Maddox really grows to like Kaya. It seems like Kaya should missed her dead best friend more, but I guess she was occupied with boys and Graplers sneaking through the walls somehow and nearly killing her again. There's someone on campus letting them in and killing Healers. But I was only slightly surprised by who it was. It's not Darius, although he seemed mean enough to do it, but it did have something to do with him. Daruis was definitely the biggest puzzle to figure out here. I just wish it had been a more believable fantasy, but the romance was definitely worth it. While this novel was eh for me, I can't wait to see what happens next! That ending!

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