Banished by Liz de Jager

Banished (The Blackhart Legacy, #1)

What I’d Pay: $12

To sum it up: As part of an ancient family entrusted with protecting humans from dangerous fairies and monsters, a young teenage girl is one day forced to protect a runaway fairy prince all on her own.

This was a surprisingly good book, it totally sucked me in and I couldn’t put it down.

I was looking for a fun fantasy novel with a little romance and lots of action – and this was exactly that. The book wasn’t perfect and most of my issues were with the characterization and dialogue. I was annoyed by the main character at times. Sometimes she would respond very differently than I expected based on previous scenes, and when that happens in the second half of a book it’s a bit jarring. It made me feel like I didn’t really know the main character very well. I liked that the main character was close to her family but those characters were hardly in the book at all, so as a reader I didn’t really care about what happened to them. The dialogue was awkward at times and the beginning was confusing because I felt like I was missing out on important background information. Eventually the back story is revealed, but the way in which readers are brought up to speed made me concerned that I’d missed a prequel book or novella with those events (I even spent time checking into that – there isn’t anything).  The ending seemed a bit out of the blue and I wish it hadn’t ended on a cliffhanger. In this case, I liked the book enough that I will definitely read the next installment, but in general I don’t appreciate the cliffhanger tactic as a way to make me read a sequel. Honestly, despite the fact that I griped about all this, I am really just being nit-picky – none of this kept me from really enjoying this book! There was action, adventure, magic and dragons! Once the plot gets going, it doesn’t stop and it is a lot of fun to read. I finished this in a day and immediately wanted the next one.

Bottomline: Despite a rough beginning, some awkward dialogue, and sometimes annoying main character, this book is a really fun YA fantasy read with lots of action and adventure – and dragons! This is not a fantasy novel with lots of detailed world-building but rather a lighthearted teen fantasy with lots of action. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was very impressed since it appears to be the debut novel from this author. Looking forward to more!

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