Thank you, thank you to Ruby Fitzgerald for sending me her book, Harmonies of War! And! The package I got from Ruby included not just the book, but tons of other themed goodies, too! I’m talkin’ candles, a bookmark, and even a Harmonies of War map! How awesome is that??? (Answer: Incredibly awesome.) Read on for my spoiler-free review! Disclaimer: I shared this review with Ruby before posting.
Fantasy, Adventure, and Magic!
I don’t believe there’s any particular age range for this book. There are fight scenes, but it’s not gory or too graphic, so it’s fine for adults, but also for YA. Although, don’t get me wrong – there are tons of YA novels that have some serious gore, so even if this book did have that, it wouldn’t be a deal breaker. But. Like I said, it doesn’t. So we’re good.
Overview (From back of book)
Thousands of years ago, the Ancients bestowed the Nine Energies of Magic to a small group of humans. These humans are known as the Descendants. Now, at a time when those who possess magic are widely feared, many of them find themselves fighting for an evil king. King Zagan of Sharnin promises everything but intends nothing. The only thing that can save them is an Ancient Prophecy.
While the Queen of Thurnadan poisons her husband’s mind in her own quest to prove her crown, she is suddenly forced to defend her land against an impossible army. There is one woman, one Descendant, that could be the key to the Ancient Prophecy and to bringing an end to the war. Aurora is rumored to be the most powerful Descendant that has ever lived. But whose side is she on?
How much more destruction can the Temperate Lands endure? Who truly holds the power to end the war? Is Aurora the one to fulfill the Prophecy of the Ancients? The key lies in the ‘Harmonies of War’.
As mentioned in the overview above, HOW takes place in the Temperate Lands, which include the Snow Lands, Thurnadan, Kailani, Clodith, and Sharnin – all of which are introduced throughout the book.
HOW has a number of key players, each tied to the different realms of the Temperate Lands. The story is depicted from alternating perspectives, so readers get to see a bit from/of every character.
What I Liked
I enjoyed the overall plot and concept of HOW. You all know I’m a sucker for magic and I liked the different abilities portrayed throughout the story – the aforementioned “Nine Energies of Magic”. And I liked the alternating character perspectives. There was definitely a lot going on and I liked the premise and history on which the present plot points were built. It was also interesting to see how the characters were connected as the story progressed.
What I Liked a Little Less
Generally speaking, I think the writing would benefit from a bit more editing.
I also would have liked to see more in-depth character development. At times, it seemed that some of the characters’ thoughts and behaviors were counterintuitive to the portrayal of their personalities, which might actually be fine (because let’s face it, human beings aren’t always the most logical creatures), but I think a little more justification would have helped clear some things up.
Additionally, I think the story could have been enhanced by more descriptors of the lands, buildings, and even characters. However, there were some things that might have been over-explained or too obviously stated, leaving little for the reader to intuit.
Like I said in the section above, there’s a lot going on here; I actually think this novel could have been further developed into two books. (There will actually be more books – Ruby is currently working on Book 2 – but I specifically mean that with edits and expanded content, everything that took place in this book, could actually be worth two novels. And yay, more books!) Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is that it felt like certain parts of HOW were over in no time and I would have liked to see them fleshed out more. Which would have either resulted in a longer book or two books 👍
Harmonies of War gets 2 out of 5 stars. There were definitely things about it that I liked, but they weren’t enough to outweigh the things that I didn’t. And, as always, all of the above stems from my own personal opinion(s); so just because I felt that way, doesn’t mean others will feel the same.