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Series: War of the Princes #1
Read: January 3-5 2016
Format: Kindle Ebook
My Book Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Genre: YA Fantasy
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book. Wow. This is the kind of book that keeps you turning the page, not wanting to put it down, saying ‘just one more chapter!’ only to get to the end and need to dive into the next book ASAP. That is Haven.
Katelyn Kestrel is the heroine of this series. Seventeen years old and a bit of a rebel, Katelyn doesn’t just accept the way things are, she questions them. Growing up in Haven, an isolated kingdom/country nestled in a hidden mountain valley, she knows that to try to find a way out is the greatest law, punishable by imprisonment or worse. However, Katelyn can’t help herself. She’s always had an instinct about finding what she’s looking for, and finding her way out of Haven is no different. She suddenly finds herself in a cave, forced to choose between taking the safe route and going back, or helping a wounded soldier in her path. Katelyn helps the soldier and that’s where the story really begins.
There is a minor-almost-love-triangle in this book. Katelyn has strong feelings for her rescued soldier, Rune, but the other young man she meets, the Common Lord Dylan Axton, has his eye on her as well, showering her with gifts.
Katelyn discovers secrets about herself and her people and soon, Haven’s fate is entirely in her hands.
The world building in this book is captivating. There were little things that drove me a little crazy, like the Haven people’s superstition that name alliteration was good luck (hence our heroine being Katelyn Kestrel, sister to Kevin Kestrel, friend of Kyle Kiteman, etc.) I quickly forgot all that once the plot moved forward. The powers are very cool, and the military and royal hierarchy well thought out.
The best part of this book though? It’s a fantasy novel done right. The reader is not inundated with pages and pages of description, we’re given just enough to set the scene to feel as though we’re there, and then we move on. As I stated before, I could not put this book down. I said ‘just one more chapter’ for a good seven chapters before forcing myself to go to bed. I told myself I would get some work done before starting book 2, however I’m already almost 20% into Paperglass and let me tell you, it’s as good if not better than Haven!
There are plenty of questions left unanswered in this book; for example, if the Haven people have been secluded from the Outside World for over 700 years, why do they still speak the same language, albeit with a strong accent? At least some of these questions are answered later in the series (which I only know because I’ve started the next.)
In my opinion, this is a must read YA title for readers looking for a strong heroine, adventure, magic, and alternate history. I did deduct half a star because there were more than a couple editing errors, perhaps not enough to distract the average reader, but definitely enough for me to catch.
Haven and the rest of the series was originally self-published and now available from Alloy Entertainment.