Monday, May 10, 2010

Review of Mistwood by Leah Cypress

MistwoodThe Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood.

But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty--because without it, she may be his greatest threat.
Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.
Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

Summary from

Mistwood was an intriguing fantasy read. Isabel, is the Shifter, a mystical creature bound to protect the royal family. Beyond that, Isabel isn’t even sure what it means to be the Shifter. She can’t remember what happened the last time she was at the castle, or exactly why she left. She learns all of the myths regarding the Shifter, yet has trouble reconciling them with herself. Little by little, Isabel uncovers her memories and her past.

To me, Mistwood was two parts: court intrigue and self-discovery. I really enjoyed watching Isabel find herself, and bluff her way through encounters as if she already knew. She was strong, clever, and sometimes scary. The road to self-discovery is a gradual one, but the plot twists were worth waiting for and really "wowed" me.

My only disappointment in the story was a lack of romance. There was a hint of something for the future, but I understand that it would be hard to have Isabel fall in love when she didn’t really know herself. I think I’ve just come to expect romance in most of my YA books, so I felt let down when it wasn’t there. There does seem to be a possibility of a sequel, yet the ending was also conclusive enough that Mistwood could stand alone.

Cover 7/10

Characters 9/10

Plot 9/10

Ending 7/10

Mom Approval Factor 10/10

Overall 42/50 84% B

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