The Tears of Elios, written by Crista McHugh, is the first book in her new series called 'The Elgan Chronicles'. A fantastical world of magic sucks the reader in for a journey stretching across a mystical action packed realm.
Shape-shifters’ Rule #1: Don’t let the humans know you still exist. Rule #2: If a human finds out about you, silence them. Some rules were meant to be broken… Ranealya ruthlessly plays by the rules and has outlived most of her race because of it. If she wants to survive, she’ll have to stick to them, especially with a genocidal tyrant hell-bent on destroying all the non-humans in the realm. But everything falls apart when a human saves her life. Gregor knows he’s inviting trouble when he helps a wounded shape-shifter, but he can’t pass up the opportunity to study one before they become extinct. She disturbs the quiet order of his scholarly existence, vexes him in more ways than he can count, and encourages him to break enough of the kingdom’s laws so that not even being the king’s cousin will save his head. The problem is, he’s already lost his heart.
First I'd like to say that a few editing errors unfortunately got missed before the book was published. I've spoken personally to Crista and she's on top of getting the problem rectified. But for those that get a copy before any changes can be address please make note of this. This was one of the only drawbacks to the story. It's a little frustrating to get caught up in a story then have words missing or used in the wrong places. I also would have liked to get a bit more character description and backstory which would allow me to get invested in the characters more. I felt that, without the backstory, the characters in the books seemed a little less fleshed out.
The story has a wonderful twist in which you get two different sets of main characters who end up intermixing their storylines towards the end. I was blown away by the creative world Crista has compiled in her novels. It takes some new ideas about magic and mixes in old folklore and other more traditional ideas. I'm not sure if I could call this story is UF or High Fantasy, but it's definitely one that the young adult crowd would also be able to dive into. For those needing some smut in their lives *cough me cough* you wont get much of that here. And while I understand some people think that it draws away from the story *cough Ben cough* it's always a great bonus to a good book in my opinion.
Fairies playing nasty tricks and humans wanting to take over the realm keep the reader turning the pages to find out what could possibly happen next. Characters dealing with choices from the past and moving forward into the future keep the book relevant and relateable to our own lives while still having fantastical elements. Overall the story is a great first start with some kinks that will inevitably get worked out I look forward to more books from this series.
Getting 2 and 1/2 Hellhound Sheep
Would you like to win a Kindle for the Holidays? Crista McHugh is giving away a Kindle this Holiday season!
Check out her blog HERE each Monday morning from October 31-December 5, 2011, for a question about one of her titles. The answer can either be found in the blurb or the excerpt. Email Crista the answer using the contact form on the webpage (because you don’t want to be sharing the answer with everyone on the blog). Each correct answer is an entry into the grand prize drawing. Every Sunday evening, a winner will be chosen from that week’s responses to receive a giftcard.