Release Day Blitz: Temperance (The Arcanian Chronicles #1) by Ella Frank~Includes Excerpt & Giveaway
I had only had the pleasure of reading two books by Ella Frank prior to this. I've loved both, and have the rest on my TBR list, because I really enjoy her style of writing and her voice. I'm also a huge fan of fantasy, so, when I heard about Temperance, I was definitely intrigued. After reading the synopsis, however, I was concerned about how "easy" the book would be to follow. It seemed that Temperance would have a lot going on-- people, places, terminology to familiarize myself with-- but most books like this do. I was still really excited to start.
This story begins in the past, in Arcania, with our main character's mother, Maeve, and her own three siblings on their twenty-fifth birthday. Maeve, along with her brother and two sisters all play an integral role in Arcanian society, and, in reliving their past, we understand quite a bit more about their world by the time we meet Naeve and her three sisters-- on, you guessed it, their twenty-fifth birthday. And theirs is just as life-changing as their mother's.
Maeve and one of her sisters, Rhiannon, had been "removed" from Arcania, and have lived in North Carolina for the past twenty-five years, raising Maeve's four children-- with no memory of how or why they came to be there. Only their trust that the Hierophant (the most powerful being in their world) surely had a good reason to place them there eases their confusion. Slightly. There has to be more to it, they're adamant. And, at this point in the book, I was dying to know what that reason might be. I was anxious to find out what came of some characters that we're introduced to early on. Very quickly, you will be left with a million questions, eager to uncover the events that have led everyone to where they are, and wondering what comes next.
It's almost like experiencing two different stories. Maeve, and her siblings'-- along with her own love story with Lach'Lan (swoon)-- and Naeve's own adventure with her family. It was quite entertaining. The characters were fun, and their banter constantly brought a smile to my face. There's a plethora of supporting characters, so I found myself flipping backwards pretty often in the beginning to make sure I remembered everyone. I got names/roles mixed up a little at first, but that might just be me. However, each character had their own distinct and rich personality, and brought a lot to the story. Eventually, it wasn't so daunting.
Speaking of the many characters, Bastian was a someone that I very much enjoyed getting to know. He was a complex character with a difficult past (and future?), a quick temper, but still with a sense of humor. Kai was also a favorite! There are a lot of characters that are truly nothing like they originally seem.
I'm generally not a fan of books that give you more than two characters' points-of-view, especially not so quickly (I don't like to just get comfortable in a one character's mind, only to be abruptly switched to another's). That's not to say that the POV change was done poorly in this instance, it is just something that put me off a bit, personally, and I think it's worth mentioning. This, however, might not bother some readers, so don't let it discourage you from reading Temperance. I definitely enjoyed the story despite this.
I have to say, at about 28% or so, I began to feel a little... frustrated, although, that might be a harsh way to describe how I felt. Conflicted, maybe? I felt like, at that point, the story should have been progressing a bit more, yet... only about two days had passed. Two days! Yes, things were happening. Yes, I was into the story. But I was so ready to get on with things. This was actually true for about half of the book, sadly, and it was a good thing I was already super curious about how this story would (finally) unfold, because it might have bothered me even more otherwise. And just when things finally started to happen more quickly... it was over faster than I would have liked. I wanted more, in the best way.
Overall, I did really enjoy Temperance. The writing flowed beautifully. The premise of the story was interesting and entertaining, the characters captivating. And, in true Ella Frank fashion, the few sex scenes packed plenty of heat. I think it was a great jump into fantasy for this author. I'm only hoping that, now that a lot of the back story has been established, we are able to jump right into the action in the next installment. This world that Frank has created has a lot of potential, and can branch off into many different directions. I'll be excited to revisit these characters (Especially Kai! *swoon*) and see where their story leads! I was left with tons of questions and I can't wait to get the answers.
“Don’t. Make. A. Sound.”
The low, gravelly voice reverberated through her as she felt a tear escape the corner of her eye. The arm that was banded across her chest was full-on muscle as it easily held her in place against a body that was as impenetrable as a brick wall.
Naeve didn’t move a muscle, but she lowered her eyes the best she could and saw a black leather glove that went halfway up that thick forearm. As the hand on her right shoulder tightened, she grimaced and felt the tip of the knife press against her throat.
“Where is your other sister?”
Naeve remained silent, not sure she could even remember how to speak, and then she felt those fingers grip her shoulder harder as they spun her around and pulled her up close.
The sight that greeted her was like something from her worst nightmare.
She couldn’t have imagined ever feeling the terror she felt right then. For that reason alone, she’d never known that her response would be to become one hundred percent paralyzed.
As she stared up at the towering figure before her, she had to wonder if maybe she was already dead and he’d been sent to collect her. Cloaked from head to toe in nothing but black, he almost blended into the shadows except for the shiny blade he had pointed at her throat. She couldn’t make out a face behind the hood and mask, but all she continued to hope was that, if he planned to kill her, he’d do it fast.