GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Book Review: Recurve (The Elemental Series #1) by Shannon Mayer | I Smell Sheep

Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Review: Recurve (The Elemental Series #1) by Shannon Mayer

Recurve (The Elemental Series #1)
by Shannon Mayer

March 31st 2015
“My name is Larkspur, and I am an Elemental.”

My people use the power of the earth to sustain life and defy our enemies. I should be at my father's side as a royal princess. But as a half-breed, bastard child, that isn't going to happen.

I've been accused of attacking the queen, my wicked stepmother, and my life is suddenly on the line. I have only two options left to me: banishment, or training to become one of the King's Elite Guards, an Ender.

Option one will kill me.
Option two is meant to break me, but is the only way to survive.

Did I mention I have no power like the rest of the elementals, and my connection to the earth is worth next to nothing?

Could things get any worse? Of course they can. Welcome to being an Elemental.

The Rim is a fantastic realm existing beyond human reach. Outcast and a virtual orphan, as the illegitimate daughter of the earth elemental king, Larkspur is forced to forge her way alone. With enigmatic dreams as her only clue that something is amiss, Lark, unable to access her elemental powers, is forced to toil in a lesser station as a planter. Lark’s relationship with her father, stepmother queen Cassava , and half siblings is tenuous, but when she’s accused of attacking Cassava she is forced to make a choice; train as an Ender, or face banishment, or even death, for her purported transgression. Lark endeavours to be an Ender, but it’s an undertaking --this ‘recurve’ of her abilities --she has little hope of surviving.

Mayer’s new series opens with fantastic promise. The Elemental world is imaginative, but recognizable, and Larkspur a formidable female heroine. The reader is not permitted for a moment to truly believe Lark is useless. As a planter, she does the heaviest lifting, literally, and as an ender trainee she’s tenacious. Lark is a misfit, making her accessible, but she’s also a fighter, and this makes her riveting. Although there are undercurrent hints of romance, this novel is all fantastic action and intrigue. I look forward to a connection being developed between Lark and Ash, her ender colleague and superior, in future installments. Coal, as Lark’s on-again, off-again diversion, willlikely develop into a character with distinct plot possibilities and entanglements.

The writing is superb, as always with Mayer. The reader is certainly entrenched within the text from the start. The beautiful, vivid description and continual plot twists are engaging and entertaining. Although I like a good love story, this book transcends omnipresent stereotypes and is truly refreshing in a variety of ways. Beneath the layers of the text exists a subtext of contemporary concerns such as environmental destruction, pandemic disease, even the more eccentric concern of zombie apocalypse.

The finale of this series starter is intense and the suspense nearly killed me. The book doesn’t end with a cliff-hanger, but most certainly leaves the characters poised to brace against multiple looming threats. I eagerly anticipate book two in the Elemental Series.

5 sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the author:
Facebook Twitter Blog Amazon Author Page

Shannon Mayer lives in the southwestern tip of Canada with her husband, dog, cats, horse, and cows. When not writing she spends her time staring at immense amounts of rain, herding old people (similar to herding cats) and attempting to stay out of trouble. Especially that last is difficult for her. She is the author of the The Rylee Adamson Novels, The Nevermore Trilogy, A Celtic Legacy series and several contemporary romances. Please visit her website at for more information on her novels.


  1. I LOVED the Rylee Adamson series and am anxious to try this on for size! Nice review!

  2. Thanks! Every bit as good as Rylee ... so far :)