Review of Girl of Myth and Legend (The Chosen Saga #1), by Giselle Simlett

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A girl with a past she tries to forget, and a future she can’t even imagine.

Leonie Woodville wants to live an unremarkable life. She wants routine, she wants repetition, she wants predictability. So when she explodes in a blaze of light one morning on the way to her college, it’s enough to put a real crimp in her day.

And things only get weirder…

Leonie learns from her father that she is last of the Pulsar, a phenomenally powerful member of a magical species called the Chosen. It will be her sole duty to protect the Imperium, a governing hierarchy, from all enemies, and to exceed the reputation of the Pulsar before her. So – no pressure there, then.

Leonie is swept away from her rigorous normality and taken to a world of magic. There, she is forced into a ceremony to join her soul to a guardian, Korren, who is both incredibly handsome and intensely troubled, a relationship for which ‘it’s complicated’ just really doesn’t cut it.

But Leonie is soon to learn that this ancient world is no paradise. With violent dissidents intent to overthrow the Imperium, and dark entities with their own agenda, she and Korren find themselves caught in a war where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to survive.

Dare to dream. Dare to hope. Dare to be a legend.

Book One in The Chosen Saga.

– – – – –

Rating: 3 (???)/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: fascinating, mostly-unique read; intriguing characters; annoying, arrogant protag; the devil is not in the details—because there really aren’t any; where there IS detail, the prose is gorgeous; a lot of confusing action and unanswered questions

Huge thanks to Giselle Simlett, WWS Publishing, and Netgalley for an ARC of this read in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered how I read/reviewed this book.

“You say immortality isn’t a burden and you may think it a wonderful, divine thing; maybe it is for those who have freedom. But if all your days are kept within this cage, with no way to escape, how can you call that living?”

I’m a bit iffy on my star rating.

The blurb made this sound amazing—characters who kick butt and take names, an intriguing world filled with magic and myth… Just my kind of read, I thought! Unfortunately, this didn’t quite match up to my expectations.

Now, that’s not to say is isn’t good! There are moments when the prose swept me off into that promised fantasy land. These snippets are poetic, descriptive, and gorgeous. They are also few and far between. In fact, most of this reads rather like a string of diary entries. The two points of view we “see” the world through remain wholly flat, unemotional (even when the characters are meant to be emotional, they aren’t) and robotic.

“So now imagine this companion, a bird we’ll say, exotic, beautiful, and created from a powerful love that began with a promise. The magical being it adores is not its master, but its friend, and they live side by side as equals for many years. But the bird is naive: it doesn’t realize the fragility of a mortal’s kindness, or the quickening of their temper, nor the malice and hate they can weave. The bird is made only of love, of trust, and so when their friend lays breadcrumbs, the bird doesn’t doubt them and follows their trail. Then the door of a cage shuts behind it.”

The world, also, didn’t really leap to life. What little information we’re given about the different lives/societies is often conflicting and confusing. Creatures like Pulsar and Kytaen are explained in the simplest ways…and left vastly undescribed. This makes the characters, the world, the scenery very hard to imagine. There’s SO MUCH packed into this read, I feel as if some of the finer, more important details fell to the wayside instead of being allowed breathing room. Things that should have been the main focus instead felt like trivial details.

And while the characters are fascinating and their stories promise excitement, there isn’t much personal growth for either. The author played around, instead, with the idea of an unexplained/unwanted connection…but didn’t do it justice enough to make it work smoothly in the grand scheme of story telling.

The main protagonist, Leonie, comes off as crass, arrogant, and often cruel. Korren, also, is rather stubborn and mean. Their stories make sense, when taken as a whole…but together they’re more drama than I’d have liked, with almost no redemption for either at the end. It’s a nice setup for book two…but it doesn’t make me care for them, or feel anything for their struggles.

His voice grows dark. “But when the sun sleeps and gives way to the moons, the serpent slips silently into the deepening pockets of darkness, and it is then that the enchantment of this world dissolves into something perilous, when instead of dreams and wishes it is twisted into nightmares and curses.”

So, while I enjoyed the uniqueness and creativity of this read, I found myself mostly bored and disgruntled with the characters. While I see a LOT of potential in this author’s style, there’s also a lot of work to do to make this series seamless. I’d recommend to lovers of sci fi/fantasy, mythology, and unique otherworlds. For now, I guess we’ll wait and see what book two promises—perhaps it’ll patch up some of these loose ends!

5 thoughts on “Review of Girl of Myth and Legend (The Chosen Saga #1), by Giselle Simlett

  1. Another excellent review, Beth. I’m always curious about the books you read–for the most part, I think we have similar reading interests. Girl of Myth and Legend’s concept and prose style seem really intriguing, but that’s a bummer about the weak plot and characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read some pretty awesomely weird books, I’ll admit–I don’t know why, but I seem to be drawn a lot to books I’ve never heard anything about. Which…makes squealing and raving about them after reading more fun, but also more lonely! Thank you for reading! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Loved and Loathed (December 2015) | betwixt-the-pages

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