Phantom Rose by Tanwa Adanlawo
*The author reached out to me to for a read-for-review basis (I literally not sure what I’m even talking about right now – she kindly asked me on Instagram if I would read and review her book on Instagram and I was like suresies, give me a few weeks and she was super sweet about it – uh, the end of this wholly unnecessary story)*
A story that always ends with a curse. A story as ancient as “once upon a time” in the realm of Hiliax. A story of treason and love that runs deeper than anyone knows. Lillianett is the latest chapter in that story, a half-breed of two realms that at all costs must stay hidden from the people in her mother realm or it may cost her her life. For a year she must stay isolated from the people, and then she may return to Tarress realm (Earth). Unfortunately, Lillianett is hot-tempered and too quick to act, which makes her task that much more difficult. Can she succeed in continuing this story, or will she be the final chapter?
I’m kind of stuck on this review. The truth is there was a lot that I did enjoy of this book, but there was one kind of big thing that made me question a lot. Let’s deal with the good and then end with the super confusing bad at the end.
To be honest, I didn’t quite understand the summary as well as I thought I would, but I was like, eh, let’s dive in. And to tell the truth, I’m glad I did because Adanlawo had a way of making the complex easy to understand. She introduces you to a lot in the first few pages, but she makes it interesting and easy to connect the dots. When creating a fantasy world, it’s imperative to get your world across early and easily so you don’t get lost so early on. I thought Adanlawo did a good job of that.
Her writing was good as well. I thought that the first few pages had the feeling of a fairytale, which I loved. You know how much I love me some fairytales, and I thought that was super cool. It was definitely a good way to get right into the story.
I did like the premise of the story. It was interesting, and Adanlawo did a good job of creating a complex magic system. It didn’t seem too forced, too complex, or too unbelievable. It was interesting, and I was definitely intrigued in learning more throughout the story.
I did like Lillianett. I didn’t connect to her a lot, but I did like her well enough. I definitely rooted for her, and I was intrigued by her story.
However, the biggest issue came in the form of Prince Alexander. Omigosh, I was nottttttttt a fan. I understand he had the whole cocky, arrogant, player bad boy attitude with what was surely going to be a good redemption arc. But he was TOO cocky, TOO pushy from the very beginning that I could just not get behind him. The story, for me, would have been so good without him. I couldn’t stand his character, and if he showed up, I just started skimming.
But that’s the issue! There was a lot that was pretty good about this novel, but Prince Alexander just messed up my feelings about the book. I didn’t think the book was bad at all – I just didn’t like him. And I’m not sure where that leaves me and the book. There is a lot of good and just one bad – but it was a big enough bad. Since I’m still really confused with this, I’m going to leave off my rating until I figure it out, and an Elsa rating is coming out again for the second time this week! Ut oh.
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