Have you ever read a book and known within the first few pages it was going to be a new favorite? A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross was one of those for me.
|Pub Date: 2-15-22|
Adult - Fantasy
Jack Tamerlaine was born and raised on the magical island of Cadence, but when he was a boy, he was sent away to the mainland to become a bard. In the decade since he's left, Jack has learned to be content with only his music and his job at the university, rarely lending much thought to the home he left behind. So when he receives a summons calling him home, Jack can't help but wonder why. When he arrives, he's met by his old childhood enemy and heiress to the east, Adaira. She advises Jack that young girls have started going missing, and she's hoping Jack will play for the spirits of the island to help uncover their whereabouts.
The spirit's that rule the island can be cruel and unforgiving, so Jack and Adaira must tread lightly. Singing for them requires a sacrifice, and with every song, Jack can feel his health draining, but he's determined to do whatever he can to find the missing girls. As he and Adaira work, the tension between them starts turning into something neither expected. But when their investigations start pointing to the Breccans, a warring clan on the other side of the island, secrets long buried start coming to the surface. Secrets that will rock the balance of the entire island and everything Adaira holds dear.
I adored this. The atmospheric vibes are immaculate. I kept picturing myself standing on a cliff overlooking the seaside while a Hozier song played in the background. Ross's writing felt very folky and whimsical. I was completely swept away by the magic of this world and these characters. I loved the elemental spirits that roamed the island and how Jack was able to call to them with his music. The magic system was very much give and take which I liked. The highlight for me was the relationship between Jack and Adaira. They were said to be childhood enemies, and while I never fully got that impression, the tension between them was perfection. They felt like two sides of the same coin. Plot-wise, I was hooked from the start, wondering what happened to these girls and how the warring clan tied into it. Normally, I'm a fast reader but I found myself slowing my pace to savor every bit of it. I can't wait for the next book and will pull a Jack and sing to whatever spirit I need to to get a copy of it in my hands.