Author: Nandi Taylor.
Genre: YA, fantasy.
Publication date: January 21st 2020.
Publisher: Wattpad books.
A subversive fantasy-romance steeped in West-African and Caribbean traditions.
Yenni has never been this far from home. With only her wits, her strength and her sacred runelore, the fierce Yirba warrior princess is alone in the Empire of Cresh. It’s a land filled with strange magics and even stranger people—many of whom mistrust anyone who’s different. But Yenni will prove herself, and find a cure for her father’s wasting illness. She will not fail.
No one warned her about the dragons. Especially not about him.
Yes, there is something powerful and compelling about the violet-black dragon known as Weysh. In human form he’s muscular, beautiful—and completely infuriating. What kind of arrogant creature claims a stranger as his Given; as his destined mate? Yenni is no man’s—or dragon’s—plaything. But other magics must be at work here, because Weysh might just be her best hope at finding the answers she seeks.
Only now Yenni can’t tell if she’s fighting her attraction to a dragon…or fighting fate itself.
Rating: 3.5 stars!
As the synopsis and the title imply, this book is about two characters who are ‘soulmates’ or ‘given’ as it is called in this book. I’m always a bit dubious about books with soulmates, I could either really enjoy them or not like them at all. But since this book also contained dragons, I really had to read it!
This soulmate part was really from one part of this world and was not a thing in another part of the world. In Weysh world, finding your Given is very important. Your kinda disgraced if you don’t. While in Yenni’s world this is not a thing at all, she is just planning to marry for political reasons.
Yenni decides to study in Weysh’s part of the world, to learn more about their magic. As soon as Weysh sees Yenni, he knows she is his Given. And I really struggled with this part of book. He really was forcing himself upon Yenni, even though she was really clear about not wanting anything to do with him. His character was just so annoying to me. But his character development throughout the book was probably my favourite thing of the book. He learned to deal with people, and see his mistakes. I loved that!
I did really enjoy Yenni’s character from the start! She knew what she wanted, and she wouldn’t be distracted from her path. Even is things didn’t always go as planned, she found a way to solve it!
The different magic systems were very interesting, but I do think they could have been explored/explained a bit more. In Yenni’s part of the world there are runes that ‘supply’ the magic, and were just told that there are strength runes and speed runes. But I would have loved to learn more about it. It is kinda the same as for the magic in Weysh’s part of the world. Here they did magic with spells, but again we were told many things. But since Yenni was learning this type of magic, we learned a bit more about this type.
Then we also have the dragons. Which again wasn’t explained, it just was. Which I think worked?! Some people could just change into dragons, and some can’t.
One thing I just didn’t really understood, was the ‘enemy’ in this book. I’m not sure if I missed the explanation but I just didn’t get why this person was so angry at our main characters?! (trying to be vague, since I don’t want to spoil anything).
But besides that, I enjoyed most of the characters, I liked the magic, the dragons were interesting. I just wasn’t sure about the enemy and some part of the ‘given’ were a bit predictable.
But I definitely recommend this book, and I look forward to be reading more from this author!
Nandi Taylor is a Canadian writer of Caribbean descent based in Toronto. She’s a two-time Watty award winner, and her Wattpad story Given has garnered over one million reads and earned the 2018 Worldbuilders Watty award.
Nandi grew up devouring sci-fi and fantasy novels, and from a young age wrote books of her own. Her books are an expression of what she always wanted more of growing up—diverse protagonists in speculative settings. Common themes she writes about are growth, courage, and finding one’s place in the world.
Her debut novel Given will be published by Wattpad Books in January 2020.
Prize: One copy of Given! (UK&CAN only)
Starts: January 21st 2020
Ends: February 1st 2020
All entries are Mandatory!
Some things: you have to be 13 or older, your personal information won’t be used!
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