A Seer's Daughter
*Warning: I'm branching off into different novels now and then to break things up. This review is on a novel intended for adult readers.
Adorably sensual and full of tension, heartbreak, and political upheavals, A Seer's Daughter, by B.C. Marine, is a refreshing must-read fantasy romance novel.
A servant girl and a defiant prince both are gifted with the same power to heal others through a kiss. Their friendship is frowned upon, a romance—forbidden. Odelia soon learns not all is as it seems in her past, the future her father predicts more daunting, and her friendship with the prince is at an impasse. Prince Kennard isn't the typical obedient son he should be, fighting his father in every aspect, particularly in marriage. Soon Kennard learns he must choose between his family and the woman he loves, while Odelia must carve the right path into the future so both she and Kennard survive. Enter in a shape-shifting tyrannical king, an overbearingly charismatic Queen, lots of meddling nobles, and fate stacking the cards against them, it's not clear if Kennard and Odelia will ever find love or whether everything will fall apart around them, including their hearts, lives, and kingdom.
This is not your typical romance novel in that it pleasantly deters from the formulaic plot often found in other cliched romance novels. The unique build-up, the sexual tension—and sometimes frustration—between the characters makes their romantic moments all the more worthwhile. It has a strong, detailed-oriented plot surrounding court politics with action, adventure, and surprises. The novel is more centered on falling in love, characterization, and world building. I found this so much more engaging and rewarding than the majority of romance novels I've read that are simply gratuitous sex scenes strung together. This divergence from the overtired formulas and tasteful intimacy sets the book above others.
The characters, Kennard and Odelia, are well-developed and completely human—fallible, likable, and utterly realistic. It's refreshing to see a strong female lead who does the saving for once. Kennard is swoon-worthy sweet, and emotionally available without seeming weak. Aside from these two, all sub characters, down to the ones who simply say a few words, are well-developed and have personalities in their own right. As equally impressive, were the details of the world Marine creates full of nature and beauty, simplistic in natural materials and yet ornate in design. This world is fantastical, and yet so very like our own.
I'm officially in love—with Kennard, Odelia, with their world and how they shape it. Needless the say, I'm eagerly hoping for a sequel. If you're looking for something much more enriching and entertaining than the same old romance novel, A Seer's Daughter is for you.
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