Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Review: The Season of Lightning by Kate Avery Ellison

The Season of Lightning

Kate Avery Ellison

YA Fantasy
February 20, 2015

Emma meets Robin Hood in this antebellum-esque historical fantasy set in the same fantasy world as A Gift of Poison.

Verity Elysius is the only daughter of a famous retired general and rich plantation owner. She lives in an insulated world of wealth and privilege, where she spends her time riding her horse, sassing her lady’s companion, and being tormented by the family’s handsome but irritating nobleman friend, Lord Roth. But when a mysterious, masked vigilante called the Hawk begins stirring up trouble and freeing silvras, the oppressed lower class, Verity’s world is turned upside down as she is challenged about everything she knows about her world and her place in it.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

The Season of Lightning is a standalone YA fantasy set in a world that seems very similar to our historic past - circa Civil War era. I mention this because the book has a more historical feel than fantasy. In the blurb, it's compared to both Emma & Robin Hood. Well I see the similarities between Verity and Emma... Robin Hood- not so much. The Hawk had rather brutal tendencies and was fueled by revenge. He wasn't robbing the rich to feed the poor so much as decimating the rich and freeing the oppressed.

Verity was a young noblewoman coming of age in a time when women were treated as pretty objects to brighten a room. It's safe to say that Verity was anything but docile. She had a sharp brain and a sharp tongue to match which drove her genteel father mad. I loved Lord Roth from the beginning. He came across so sweet, intelligent, and charming. He had his own thoughts and ideals. The Hawk, on the other hand, I didn't like very much. While I admired his commitment to his cause, the way he went about achieving his goals was rather short-sighted.

I really enjoyed how Verity matured in this novel. When faced with something unpleasant, she didn't turn away but learned from it. I found her to be rather impetuous but lovable all the same. The beginning and end of the story were very fast-paced with just a tiny lag in the middle. I think my main problem in the middle was page after page of correspondence. It got tedious after a while. I found the world created by Ms. Ellison to be intriguing, but I wanted a tad more in the way of character development, especially concerning the Hawk and Roth.

Overall, this is a fun YA fantasy with adventure and a touch of sweet romance. Definitely a nice diversion for a summer day.

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