Such A Secret Place
by Cortney Pearson
(Stolen Tears #1)
When sixteen-year-old Ambry Csille’s brother gets taken in a raid, her utter fear and panic should be enough to invoke tears in any normal world. But for Ambry, tears are a thing of the past.
Because of a spell, people can no longer feel emotion; not enough to cry, and definitely not enough to defend themselves against the tyrannical soldiers stealing her people’s magic. A rare vial of enchanted tears chooses Ambry to reverse the spell, and soon she finds herself the target not only of the Arcaians, but of battle-scarred Talon Haraway, who wants the tears for his own reasons.
All Ambry wants is to rescue her brother, but when her tears get stolen, Ambry determines to work with Talon to get them back. Any day the Arcaians could drink her tears. Any day they’ll succeed at draining her people’s magic completely, and all hope will be gone—not only for her brother, but for her world.
Magic, tension, a rising tyranny and romance--this story propels the reader into a wondrous world which grabs and doesn't let go.
Ambry Csille is one of the few left who feels emotions, but even she can't shed a tear. A powerful magician rid humans and other creatures of their tears years before, leaving behind barely any emotions at all. The rising tyranny uses this to their advantage, and with the use of a magical claw, sucks the magic out of the people. leaving the with not much more than the life of a numb shell.
This book grabs from the very first scene and keeps the adventure rolling the entire way through. It's no problem to dive into the world and picture the surroundings, and that without long, detailed descriptions. Told from Ambry's point of view, even the side character's come to life. Each has their own problems, secrets and agendas, and most of these are understandable even when seemingly evil or unexpected. The plot is rich with several layers, making it hard to guess what will happen next, who to trust, and what Ambry will decide.
Despite the play of magic and mythical creatures, there was enough about this world which felt familiar, making it easy to sink into. The magic used is powerful but subtle enough that it doesn't feel over powering. Ambry herself comes across as an average girl, but then, despite her will to help and warm-heart, she isn't a born fighter. Her weaknesses make her as likable as her strengths.
Of course, there's romance, and it's not the 'love at first sight' type. The banter between Ambry and her hero is delightful, and adds a wonderful touch to often more serious scenes. Their love is a growth of trust and friendship, and it's not always clear that it's enough to pull through...which makes it that much more interesting.
I had no trouble reading this in one sitting and was disappointed when the last page finally came that I had to put the book down. It does have a cliff-hanger ending (which I'm not always a fan of), but there's reason to believe that what's coming next is worth waiting for.