New Series here I come! There are four books to this series and one Novella. Wish me luck.
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
Soulbound by Bethany Adams
Synopsis From The Book
A deathbed promise.
Arlyn’s quest is simple: find her father and let him know her mother is dead. After all, Aryln had promised her mother she’d go. The problem? Her father’s people are myths and legends, and he doesn’t even live on Earth. But despite a long journey through the mysterious mists of the Veil, finding him turns out to be the easy part.
A dream long buried.
After five hundred years, Kai has given up on finding his soulbond. So when he stumbles across Arlyn after returning from his latest mission and recognizes her as his mate, Kai starts their bond in haste. But he never could have imagined that his bonded is his best friend’s newfound daughter. Whoops.
A hidden conspiracy sparked to life.
Though the sight of Kai makes Arlyn’s hear pound, she isn’t sure she can forgive him for starting their bond without her permission. But her love life is the least of her problems. Her father is an elf lord, and his sudden acknowledgement of a half-human heir reignites the same conspiracy that took him away from her mother in the first place. Now Arlyn and her family must face iron wielding assassins, bigotry, and her newly awakened magical abilities if they hope to come through in one piece.
Short Synopsis By Me
When Arlyn met her father, out of a promise made to her late mother, she did not expect to be thrown into the world of magic. Exploring another part of her heritage had never been so difficult, especially being bonded to a man she had only recently met. When strange assassination attempts rock her new home, Arlyn is thrown into a world of chaos bigger than she imagined.
I think the one for the backs does it better.
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
I am… going to be honest. I picked up these books at Penned Con because of the cover and that they were about elves. Magic and nice covers? Worth the chance? Right? I did go through and add all of the synopsis for the series to their separate reviews before reading this one, so I have an idea of two things.
One, where the story is going.
Two, each book is focused on two different people of the world.
We will see how much I like this. Good luck to me.
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
One, I am correct in knowing where the story is going, but that doesn’t mean I know how it will get there. This path was an adventure that is for sure. Two, the book might focus on different stories, but if book one is evident on how that will be sign me up! I liked how this story flowed and found myself laughing at loud at points.
The book starts with Arlyn meeting her father. After testing her lineage, her father accepts her into his home and Arlyn meets Kai. Kai, in his delusional – haven’t slept for a week, nor do I have magic — state, bonds with Arlyn without her knowing. Arlyn’s father (Lyr) flips out because Lyr and Kai are best friends and it is wrong to do without permission. When Kai is healed and rested he is sick to his stomach with it, and Arlyn just decides to make the best out of a bad situation.
The book follows as Arlyn learns Elven customs, and trains her magic. We get more on the world building and a simple plot of failed assassinations, than a massive arc plot. This is good. The massive arc is mentioned, and brought up, but the shorter plot ties into it and helps the story move forward. In the end everyone is saved but there is still a dark cloud that hangs over the world.
What I Liked:
We jump right in, to when she meets her father. There is no time taken to watch her mother die, and her try to figure out how to get to the elven world. She’s done it. She’s been there. She is in the Elven world and not looking back ready to tell her father what happened. I like this. I like getting thrown into worlds and having to find my footing. It makes the experience more fun for me, and it works because Arlyn’s trying to figure it all out just like I am.
Language cuss words and language in general; Along with being thrown into the world, we get thrown a language that makes no sense but to the people that speak it. I appreciate this. I have no clue whether or not Bethany Adams has worked out the entire language of the elves, but I am happy she has worked out enough of it to give it substance. Additionally she gave the Elves a reason to speak in English, one that I accepted easily.
Culture and Customs; This goes along with the Language, but the usage and length of names is beautiful. I like how the culture of this specific Elven family has been explained. I like how the gods are such an important part of their culture, as is nature. It is a beautiful world already, simply from the attention to these details.
Soul bonding; This is a part of culture, but the soulbond is an important and powerful one that is explored in depth through this novel. I know it will become a powerful thing through later books and with such a simple plot we were able to explore this bond in enough depth to believe it. I believed it.
Soft magic; I feel like this system will adapt to be more middle ground than true soft magic, but when it comes to Elves I am okay with the magic being soft magic more than rule based.
Perspectives; Perhaps my favorite part of the book. We are focused on Arlyn but get Lyr and Ralan’s perspectives. Lyr and Ralan are focus of book two and book three. Getting their perspectives now, helps to ease into he shift of focus for the nest few books. I was not expecting this to happen, and ultimately above everything else, this fact is what made this book score high for me.
Characters; In general I just love them. I also love that Arlyn is technically 23 at the start of the novel. The characters are all nicely developed with their own goals, and histories that I can’t wait to see fleshed out more. Currently Prince Ralan and Eri (his daughter) are my favorites.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
Insta love; Is it the bane of my existence? I’m not sure. See, I liked how the soulbond worked and how Arlyn and Kai had to overcome it. I liked that Arlyn knew she needed Kai but wasn’t sure she loved Kai. With four more books, I suppose I would have liked a bit more time for her to decide if she loved him or not. Finishing the bonding could have been a matter of necessity over love, to aid each other. These are Elves and yes this is their most sacred ritual, but I wanted Arlyn to have more time than a month.
Cringe lines; This part has me rolling in laughter. They were in particular for when Kai was turned on by Arlyn or when Arlyn and Kai decided to finalize their bonding with “consummation.” In context the lines aren’t that bad, if not a bit jarring. I didn’t care that they were there, or that the themes were touched. I just found the specific wording of a few lines in general to be a bit cringe. Like “Light filled the room as they exploded together.” Just saying.
Why You Should Read:
Interesting world. Interesting characters. Interesting take on a relatively simplistic plot. The first book was simple, well written, and pretty witty to get me laughing out loud (or as invested in the characters as I was). Judgement lays with book two.
Time Taken To Read
Why a .25? Shifting perspectives. This fact helped me accept the transition between the next few books.
“Excuse me… I have no clue what you just said. Was my name somewhere in that mess?” – Arlyn to her father about her full name and title.
“Which of the nine gods have you offended, Lyr?” – the guard Norin to Lyr. This is actually a pretty ironic line in my opinion, considering later parts of the book and the fact that the gods can speak to the elves if they so wish.