Review of Yggdraslia

Yggdraslia by L.P. Owen

Length: 247 pages

Recommended reader age: YA but contains swear words so not suitable for younger readers

Publisher: Owen Arts Publishing, 2020

Genre: Adventure fantasy and Coming of Age

About the author:

“L.P. Owen is the creator and author of the new Fantasy series ‘Yggdraslia’.  He’s a huge fan of the fantasy genre and coming of age stories where unknowing and possibly unwilling beginners rise to extraordinary heights.  L.P. loves anything and everything created by Joss Whedon, and finds a huge amount of inspiration from his work. He strives to create new and interesting worlds full of magic, mystery, witty banter, and characters you come to know and love (or love to hate).”
More at LPowen.com

Main Characters:

Kiera Milla: The main character, useless shepherd and wool spinner but great at hitting things really hard.

Ana Milla: Kiera’s mother who is suffering from an injury the Jade Clerics are unable to heal

Goddess Kyriae: The creator of the world Yggdraslia

Emoriah: Kiera’s best friend in the local town of Remeny

Natenya: mysterious stranger who helps Kiera in a desperate time of need

Kail Vesayth: being trained as a fighter, cleric and combat avatar from a young age

Dolos: the church leader

Plot summary, spoiler free I promise:

The book starts with an introduction to Kiera and the world she inhabits, including an introduction to the church and just how much they rule over day to day life. Through the introduction to her mother we also learn more about the magical relics in this world, how they work and the different types of cleric who help keep order and heal the injured.

With increasing evidence that the world is dying, we follow Kiera as the Goddess sends her messenger and she embarks on a desperate quest to save the world. One that is illegal, dangerous and heresy.

Part way through we switch viewpoints and see more of the world through the eyes of Kail, including a true insight into the nature of the Dolos who rules the church. The story continues, alternating narrators every few chapters or so, and we travel with them through mountains, across lakes and through encounters with monsters, both beast and human alike as they try to avert the end of the world.

My Thoughts:

For me this book starts super well, I was sucked into the world and almost immediately fell in love with Kiera as bad-ass tomboy who loves to hit things. While there are definitely other heroines that are similar, Valkyrie from Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant – book 1) springs to mind, it is a format I love and will never tire of reading. Who doesn’t love a girl that can throw a punch?

I also liked how the scene is set and world introduced, the descriptions were great and I loved the concept of a fantasy world that was almost nothing like our own. Unfortunately this didn’t last as the world quickly became like any other fantasy world, with ports, ships, cities etc with the only real difference to our world being that metal is incredibly rare and magic relics are common. I would have enjoyed seeing more magic in day to day life, more beasts that weren’t just wild animals made bigger and just something different that lived up to the promise shown with the scene setting.

I was a great fan of the characters too, they were all unique and guided by their own motivations, tragic past or genuine motivation to save the world. I enjoyed learning about each characters personality through their actions and how they interacted with each other before the author revealed their back story. Kiera joking with her mum about her tomboy attitude leading to an early death managed to show both love and care, while bringing Kiera to life as well.
 
Despite my enjoyment of the first section of the book I struggled with the middle section. I found the writing style repetitive and somehow lacking in the ability to convey emotional scenes fully. Many events seemed almost anti-climatic, and although I felt connected to the characters I struggled to feel their emotional response to events. I also found fighting and combat scenes to be a little underwhelming, at times I found myself re-writing them in my head in order to visualise the action better.

Having said that, the latter part of the book did pick up again and a few events were sudden and well written enough that I felt the characters shock and pain.

It did end on a huge cliffhanger, and one that means you have to read the next book in the series to find out whether Kiera manages to complete the quest. This is an absolute pet hate of mine, cliffhangers sure, but a half finished quest makes me mad as I never feel like I managed to finish the book.

I would recommend to a younger audience, but be advised that there are swear words and drinking at frequent points throughout the book. I would also urge anyone who enjoys fantasy novels to give this a go, the story is great just let down by a writing style I didn’t like.

Favourite quote:

“..yellow is a symbol of beginning, so as the first sun Artaya rises and bathes the world in its light, so too shall the people rise. And as yellow is the beginning, so was red a symbol of endings. As Artaya sets, and Soledun rises to give the world a tone of orange, leading to red, so shall the people sleep and rest for the next day.”

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