Thursday, June 28, 2012

Book Review: Wings of Arian by Devri Walls

Wings of Arian (The Solus, #1)
by Devri Walls 

Genre: Fantasy
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Source: review copy from author
Age Rating: 14+

Kiora thought she had never heard a lie until she was sixteen. But she was wrong. Her entire existence was based on nothing but. She thought that evil did not exist. Lie. That magic was not real. Lie. And that the land of Meros was all there was. One more lie.

With Aleric telling her that evil is knocking on the door and that she is the only one who can stop them she has a choice to make. Refuse, or start the wildest most painful ride of her life.
She reluctantly dips her toe into her new existence of magic and threads, dragons and shapeshifters, and the person who wants to take control of it all: the evil Dralazar.

However, this journey was never meant to be hers alone. She will be accompanied by a Protector. To her disbelief, and utter irritation they name the hotheaded, stubborn, non -magical, (albeit gorgeous) Prince Emane. They will have to trust each other with their lives, but right now Kiora would settle for a non hostile conversation.

And now it comes down to this, If you had never heard a lie, would you know when you heard one? Is knowing good from evil innate? Kiora finds herself having to decide who lives and who dies on those very questions. 

I will be a host next week for Devri Walls' Wings of Arian Book Blog Tour, so come back later to read my interview with her about her book and having self-esteem...

My Review

  • Plot: Kiora is a young girl born into a completely innocent existence, free of any evil. Neither she nor any of her people have ever encountered evil until Aleric, an adviser to the King of Meros, claims the Prophecy is about to come to pass and evil will be reintroduced into their land. They need a being of magic to protect them called the Solus and the Solus is the unwitting Kiora. She must train in magic—something none of her people ever knew existed before—in order to prepare to fight the evil Dralazar from taking over Meros.
  • Characters: Kiora is just a pure innocent and she's very relatable. She may be the heroine of the story, but she lives with doubt on a daily basis. She's not sure she's good enough to be the Solus and is afraid of failure. Prince Emane is her Protector, called to be by her side at all times, although he is the first Protector to be non-magical. His self-esteem, too, is put to the test as he tries to protect Kiora from the nearly constant threat of harm to her, even though he has very little ability to succeed at doing so. I like that they struggle so much like real people do. They have their own natural talents, but that doesn't stop them from struggling to believe in themselves.
  • Story: I liked the story, although it spends a lot of time showing Kiora and Emane's training, which is less than exciting. It makes up for it with a lot of character development and the development of their relationship. Thankfully, they don't suffer from the 'insta-love' trope because they take the entire book to fall truly “in love” with each other. Even being physically close doesn't qualify as love, which is good. It feels more real-world to me that way. Not everybody declares their undying love for you right before or after they kiss you for the first time. Or, even after many times. In fact, when does it ever happen like that in real life? The story starts to really get cooking by the end, before the climax and throughout the climactic battle scene, which is extremely well done. Definitely the best part. Instead of being small and squirmy, it's grand and epic. Real fighting with real bloodshed and wounds. Characters actually die and it even causes the main character incredible grief. This book raises the stakes when truly needed.
  • Writing: It's decent, though not stellar. It could use some work on the technical side. Plotting-wise, I think it needed the crucial plot points to stand out, and the resolution took a very long time to wrap up. After such an epic climax, I just wanted the story to quickly end, but it started another almost-arc right afterward for quite a bit beyond that. A lot of questions were answered in that second almost-arc, but most of them could have been saved for the beginning of Book 2.
  • Overall Quality: Good. This is a pure fantasy novel with no paranormal elements. Just high fantasy, so people who enjoy this kind of literature might like it. I say give it a try. Here be some characters that actually dare to go beyond being one-dimensional.
  • Favorite Scene/Moment: Any scene where Kiora has to deal with hate in her face from either Emane's fiancee or her own older sister. She handles herself so wonderfully, despite being emotionally hurt by these horrible people. I always admire characters like this and only wish I could react like her under that sort of duress.
  • My Score: 3.5/5 stars.

*I received this ebook as a complementary copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.


  1. I love the cover and it does sound interesting but the slow build up worries me. I also like that there's not insta-love going on. Hmmm, now should I try it at some point or not?

    1. @Jenny: Gorgeous cover--I know! I think you should try it if the premise interests you. It's a pretty straightforward story.

  2. oh, this one sounds interesting! although not sure I would read it based on the writing you pointed out. I love a good story, one that keeps the plot twisting and turning. although I probably will try it out at least. it does sound good. . .

    Ashelynn @ gypsy book reviews.

    1. @Ash: You might like it despite some of its flaws. But, every book has flaws. ;)

  3. OOh, I've seen this one out there and wondered about it! I love the cover! Is this an indie book? If so, I will definitely download some sample chapters and see if I like them. I don't mind a slow build if it's done well. Great review, Cathy!

    1. @Camille: This isn't self-published, but indie/small house published. Although, it very much comes off like it's self-published. You could just go ahead and consider it that.

  4. I'm always up for a good training sequence. Especially if there's some kind of chemistry between the characters. What I'm worried about is the whole Kiora is the chosen one thing. That never really sits well with me. Unless you're Buffy.

    1. @Lan: Yeah, I know what you mean. Why Kiora, and not somebody else? But, such is the typical trope in fantasy and it usually doesn't get justified. Still, many fantasy novels have survived it just fine.

    2. Long live Buffy! I always tell everyone that before there was Bella and Edward, there was Buffy and Angel!


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