Author: S. E. Bennett
Title: "The tower must fall"
Standalone, but... ;)
Main characters: Marek and Enyo
I got a free copy of this amazing book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and I am sitting here speechless... I am struggling to find just the right words so I can show you how absolutely fantastic this book was... because it is literally hurting me, that more people haven't heard about it... because this book... this world... those characters... the writing style... <sighs> I am totally in love... ;) the only flaw I can think of, is that the book was too short... ;) and don't get me wrong, it's not rushed or anything, it's just that I need more... much, much more... ;) so let me try to explain, as best as I can, why you should drop everything and go read it now ;)
We have a world... a world where characters from fairy tales actually existed a few hundred years ago... they were queens, kings and monsters... but the stories we think we know, are not exactly true... the truth is much more complicated... and dark... dun dun duuuunnnn... sorry, but the moment needed a dramatic musical interruption ;) where was I? oh yeah... the retellings that appeared in this book were absolutely stunning... I was hooked from the very first one, and immediately wanted more... :) the twists and surprises that we can find along the way in them, are fascinating... :) I'm not gonna tell you any specific details, because it's really best if you read them on your own... ok, maybe just one, since it appears very early in the book... :) what would you say if I told you that Cinderella wasn't an innocent victim in the story we know... are you curious...? good :) but back to the world... :) so all those stories actually happened, and the characters actually lived in different lands in this world... and there are so many cities mentioned in this book... some in more details, some just teased... so the sheer depth of possibilities for future stories is endless... and I need to read them all ;) but in this world, for the last few hundred years, all the magical creatures, or Cryptids as they call themselves, are hunted and killed... they are feared and hated everywhere, except the Sanctuary, a hidden place where they can live in peace... but not everything is as it seems and there are whispers that are becoming louder each time, about Cryptids and how they want to live openly and free... :) I'm not gonna say more, because there are many things that were complete surprises along the way, but just be prepared... for... well, pretty much anything :)
Now that you know a bit more about the world, let me tell you something about the characters :) Marek and Enyo are definitely the main pair :) and I don't necesserily mean as a couple ;) he is a traveller, moving with his family from place to place, never settling down for long... he's a bit clumsy, and I can totally relate to that ;) but definitely brave and compassionate :) he's the seventh son of the seventh son and there's definitely more to him than even he knows... ;) I absolutely adored him... and Enyo... she's this dangerous and mysterious girl, trained from the very beginning of her life by the Animus, a group of deadly knights who hunt down Cryptids... but she's no longer a part of them... I won't go into the reasons why, because spoilers, obviously ;) they met in one of the cities and soon after he saves her life... :) which according to her rules, makes her bound to protect him until that debt is paid... and since she is still hunted by the Animus, they have to run... Enyo promises to take him to the Sanctuary becasue... well... let's just say that both of them have something special... ;) I loved the change in them... how they influenced each other throughout the whole story... both of them evolved so much from the moment we met them... in the best possible way :) besides them, there is a diverse cast of secondary characters... and I mean really diverse... I can't tell you some things, even though I would really love to... ;) but men and women that we meet along the way are sooo interesting, different and complex that I can easily imagine them being the main character of their own stories :) Annika and Liesel, the warrior sisters... Kian, the last one of his kind... the mysterious Ryder and so... much... more... :) these are just a very few examples that prove how rich is the world that this amazingly talented author built for us... believe me, there are sooo many things that I really can't tell you here... about many different characters from this book... but believe me... you'll love them :)
Sometimes when I read reviews or talk about books with my #BookBesties, they tell me that they finished a story, and then immediately started to re-read it... and I never understood that... I get that a book might be awesome, but since you just finished it, why would you want to read it again, instead of starting something new... but now I get it... :) this is the first time when I was so very tempted to immediately start re-reading this story with all the knowledge I had after finishing it... to see if there were some indications about where this is going before... and if I wouldn't be drowning in all the ARCs that I need to read before the release dates I would totally do it :) it's like a diamond in the rough :) for now it's a standalone, but I need more from this author and this world... and I am willing to take anything... short stories or novellas of the different retellings of fairy tales... a prequel, sequel or spin-off... with the same set of characters or focusing on some secondary characters that we met here or about someone totally new... I don't really care... ;) I just need more... because it was too amazing to just end on this one book :) the fantastic writing style... entertaining characters, both main and secondary ones... the retellings... the adventure... the humor... all the twists and turns and surprises along the way... trust me, you need to read it now and then start to recommend it to others, because it is just phenomenal... :)
I have a few quotes for you, to show you a little bit of all the awesomeness that awaits you in this book :) and trust me, this is only a little glimpse of the fantastic writing style that will pull you in from the very first page :) happy reading :)
The beginning of the first chapter that immediately made me love this book ;)
"As Marek Tobar stared down the barrel of a very finely crafted pistol, he began to seriously question his life choices. With the cool metal pressing against his teeth and tongue, all he could think was: this could have gone better."
A little something with Marek and Enyo :)
"Enyo glanced at him and raised an eyebrow. 'You are terrible at hiding,' she told him coolly.
Then she grabbed Marek by the scruff of his neck, pulled him off the bar stool, and they both hit the floor just as an order was screamed and the guards opened fire.
Marek would deny it to the day he died, but he may have let out a little scream as bottles exploded above their heads, half of them with enough alcohol inside that they immediately burst into flames."
A little description of what "clumsy" means when it comes to our main hero ;)
"No one was stronger, or more accident-prone, than Marek. Which was why he was able to drag the guard down, and push him back, and why he wound up accidentally hurling both of them into a burning pile of broken table and flaming alcohol."
One of the first conversations between Marek and Enyo ;)
"'Come on, Marek. You've got to keep up with me.'
'Well,' he snapped. 'One of us has lost a lot of blood and been thrown into a fiery pile of burning man tonight.'
'Get over it, you weren't even charred.' She paused. 'Why weren't you charred? What breed are you, Unnatural?'
Marek hissed in pain when his arm hit a clock-powered well, and she rolled her eyes.
'I have no idea. I have unimaginable power, and not much imagination. The fire thing came as a shock to me, too. I may be a god. I won't lie to you: that would be superb. I would suit glory and adulation.'
'Gods don't bleed, fool.'
'I find that very hurtful.'
'Really? I would've thought the rip in your arm would trump being insulted by your bodyguard.'
'You are not my bodyguard! You're the crazy woman abducting me.'"
Part of a different conversation between them :)
"He also didn't appreciate the rat-like creature that had landed on his head just as dark fell. It hadn't seemed aggressive, so she had just knocked it off with the hilt of her dagger, and he hadn't shut up about it since.
'What if it bit me? You can't tell me that thing wasn't carrying diseases.'
'Do you feel bitten?'
'That doesn't mean anything, it could have numbed me and sucked my blood. This place is creepy as hell.'"
One more with Marek and Enyo... a little more sweet ;)
"'I'd give anything to know where you go, when you're gone,' he said suddenly, then frowned, as if he hadn't meant to say that out loud. 'What happened to your voice, Enyo?'
'It's ugly,' she said quickly, and he shook his head.
'That's not what I meant. I don't think it's ugly. I spend so much of my time waiting for you to speak, hoping you'll talk to me, that whenever I hear it, there's nothing else in the world I'd rather listen to.'"
And the last one ;)
"Enyo appeared next to him, and it was a sign that he was growing as a person that he didn't scream and fall over. That behavior had given her endless amusement when they'd first met."