Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Return by Charity Santiago [Review]

Return (Lady of Toryn #1) by Charity Santiago
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: October 17, 2013

Lady of Toryn
1. Return - (this book is no longer available)
2. Regret
3. Redemption

Charity Santiago
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Synopsis (Goodreads):
For the last three years, eighteen-year-old Ashlyn Li has been running from her destiny. A free-spirited ninja, Ashlyn would rather loot an abandoned city or challenge a fiend to battle than assume leadership of Toryn, her father's kingdom. However, when a series of attacks reunite Ashlyn with the friends who helped her save the sun three years ago, she discovers that her kingdom is at war and her father has presumed her dead.

Suddenly Ashlyn is faced with not only fulfilling her birthright, but also making sense of her feelings towards two very different men- Drake Lockhart, the enigmatic vampire who captured her heart three years ago, and Vargo, the charismatic assassin who was once Ashlyn's sworn enemy.

Will Ashlyn ascend the pagoda and become Lady of Toryn?
My Thoughts on Return: My biggest issue with this book is that I felt like I was missing critical information on what came before. A good portion of Ashlyn's interactions with her friends refer back to the events from three years ago and it was frustratingly difficult to try to piece things together. Frankly, through the first half of this book I was left floundering on what was going on.

Ashlyn herself was... confusing. There were times she acted like a spoiled child only to turn around and complain when her adopted sister did something similar. Choosing to brood over your potential love interests in the middle of battle doesn't seem like the wisest course of action as it is, but scolding someone who did the same simply floored me. And, yeah, she's eighteen. I get that. But it's hard to empathize with someone who's that self-involved.

The world building was intriguing. Clearly there was a lot of thought put into this world and the rules that run it but, again, there was so much on top of trying to figure out the whos and whys of Ashlyn's past and friendships that it was informational overload.

This book ends with little to no resolution in the overall arc. Seeing as how the other books are no longer available (that I could find), this left me vaguely disappointed. As confusing as a good portion of this book was, a strong finish might have left me nodding my head. Unfortunately that didn't happen.

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