By: Frances Pauli
Publish Date: February 22, 2013
Format: eARC, 236pgs
Series: 1st in A Kingdoms Gone Series
Recommendation: Yes, has a fairy feel to the magic, but so much more built here from world to characters and magic.
Satina knows more than anyone that gangs are bad news. As a Granter, she uses her magic to help people escape then. So far, her sole reward has been a life on the run, dodging from pocket to pocket and only landing in the ordinary world long enough to put her special skills to use. When the goodmother arrives in Westwood, however, a magic-hungry gang is just one step behind her, and their leader wants more than just the town. He wants Satina, and he'll do anything, use anyone, to get her.
Though Satina finds an unlikely ally in Marten, the imp Skinner who manages to help more people than he hurts, it will take all the power they can summon to keep Westwood's secrets from falling into the wrong hands, to keep one wide-eyed girl from following the wrong man, and to keep Satina herself from falling in love with the only person in the world who knows how much of a fraud she really is.
Satina could smell the paper from the street facing entrance.
My Thoughts and Summary:
Satina escapes the Shade controlled town through a pocket. She's always looking for those that might accept her and not look to use her for what she can do along with more information on the Gentry blooded. Being a Goodmother, Satina is wanted by both fractions; Shades and Starlights. Satina wants nothing to do with either gang. Believing the pocket portals will take her to where she is needed, she comes to an unknown place where an Imp Skinner approaches her. She sees him play a cruel trick on a young boy, trapping him - stuck holding a game. Helping the boy she knows the town will now know a Goodmother is present. Shortly after Satina comes to Westwood, Starlights march in looking for magical items and weapons long lost from the Kingdoms gone. Satina finds herself the center of attention as the Starlight leader wants her help searching, and she wants to protect the few people she's ever met that accept and help her.
I was drawn into this book at the beginning wondering about Satina being a Goodmother and mention of two gang fractions, first we see chasing Satina is Shades. Then when quickly landed in Westwood met the smiling Marten, as I was curious of him, and the other gang fraction - Starlights. I was caught with the action and the magic present.
I hoped this read would be full of magic, and I was not let down at all. Loads of magic here. Refreshing, unexpected, and built on as you go through the book. Each time we used magic, I learned more that can be done the further I read. The magic is expressed in a few different venues here, one is through sigils or even through herbs.
Satina thinks she can judge the town by their crops and livestock, yet the Skinner she meet didn't seem to fit in, and to live in one place without being run out of town by his tricks. When she gets into town, she starts to see the Skinner has helped the people with magical sigils of protection and in other areas as well. She's surprised through out the book by who Marten the Imp Skinner is. All I have to say... I don't care you're an Imp Skinner (and the word might be deceiving) Marten, I love you anyway!
Early on we see glimpses of hints to what the Kingdoms once were. When magic was accepted and maybe even loved by all. A time when Gentry (those of magic) interacted freely with humans, no matter what they looked like. Staying with a herbalist Marten had sent her to, Satina might learn what she's been looking to learn about her Gentry blood, full blooded Gentry and the old Kingdoms now lost.
Satina finds she likes the touch of freedom she's experienced here in Westwood and maybe even Marten, who has helped her in this little town he made his home. When the Starlight gang sees a group of Gentry's playing in a secret magically hidden ruin of a castle, the Starlights like the Shades take the freedom away from the town's people. Satina is ready to make a stand and not run anymore. However, if either fraction learns the sigils hidden here, they could be dangerous to all in either's hands.
In telling this magical tale and describing the magic, the author layers in hints of the old kingdoms lost to the world along with the magic and ruins. Each visit to the ruins is layered with the current story and events and hints of old magic, It was even worth reading sections twice to pick up on all that Frances offers. The first time through I caught the story then the second time I caught more of the magic and old kingdoms. There is more to the story that initially meets the eye.
I'm completely looking forward to the next installment of this series!
*I read this book for my own enjoyment.