Author: Katherine Bogle
Title: Haven: Chronicles of Warshard
Overall rating: 3.5/5 stars
Great for: High fantasy lovers with a penchant for action and adventure
Themes: Fantasy, romance, coming of age, court politics, royalty
Review: In the first few pages of the book the reader finds that the King and Queen of the fantastical six kingdoms have been brutally slain and their sole heir, Haven, is unprepared yet determined to reign in their stead. The new, grieving Queen has no fear of a repeat assassination as she is inexplicably immortal. This makes her the new target of Queen Kadia, who is set on ruling all of the six kingdoms and adding Haven, and her peculiar powers, to her army.
The initial focus on court politics and the workings of the royal court was fascinating. It had the feel of a historical tale and I forgot that this wasn’t set in the real world for large stretches of the book!
The fast pace and action-dominated plot is something that marks this as different to many other fantasy books I have read and wasn’t something I was entirely prepared for. Of course, the truncated length of this should have been a major clue, but I expecting a simpler plot rather than a lack of the heavy description that classifies this genre.
On one hand, it was refreshing to find something other than the expected, but on the other, I struggled to properly visualise the world because of it. This lack lead to a severing of empathy with the characters, which was heightened by the continual bombardment of high action and intensity: before I got to know any of the characters of acquaint myself with the world, a new plot twist or battle scene was occurring.
This felt, at times, more like a series of scenes that lacked a foundation or running commentary to link them all together. Whilst I did enjoy reading each separate event, the whole thing didn’t feel properly gelled together, for me.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Katherine Bogle, and the publisher, Friesen Press, for this opportunity.