"Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.Review
In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers.
Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry." (Goodreads)
I would want to thank the friend of Alexandra Bracken because if not for his/her birthday, we might not be able to enjoy this fantastic read.
Another awesome fantasy read, set in a fictional world where two goddesses are worshipped - Astrea and Salvala. One born of magic and the other of the sword. The kingdoms are at unrest - the capital of Provincia and the kingdom of Auster on the brink of war. In the midst of it all, a mysterious wizard named Wayland North crosses paths with Sydelle Mirabil in the small desert town of Cliffton. He took her in as he journeyed on to the capital to stop the war. Unable to turn back, Sydelle hesitantly at first went with the wizard and had to put a lot with him. It's not until their journey unravel themselves to each other and the future of a looming war.
Reading the book is like what it said in the cover jacket: "..journey that sans a country, magic and hard-won romance.." And I liken the reading to weaving as well. At first might need a little patience, especially when you're not that much in fantasy read like this. But it picks up later on and you'll discover the story that has been unfolding.
The cover is so pretty. And my wait for the book was worth it. I think I read it within a day (and I'm coming down with something that time). I soon find myself in-love with the book, especially with how the conflicts helped in shaping the characters to the reader and their personality. Although you might find a couple or some events or part in the story irritating, partly because of some characters, it just goes to show how real they can get. :D
Wayland North (yes Wayland, people) might appear immature and unbecoming of a wizard, but he is deep - deep enough for secrets. Sydelle Mirabil is believable as a teenager - stubborn, defiant, and sensitive. But she also at times wise, caring, and simple. They find themselves stuck and in need of each other.
I'm just thankful that the ending was not that hanging, and details are just loose enough to hope and wish for a second book. They did wished for rain. It just took a long time, but it did.