Bloodmark Saga, Book One
by Aurora Whittet
YA Paranormal Romance
Sixteen-year-old werewolf princess Ashling Boru is different from other wolves—she was able to shift to wolf form at birth. Rather than bringing pride to her family, it brings fear, and as a result, she is forced to live in seclusion in Ireland’s countryside. Ashling’s reputation is further blackened when she refuses her betrothed and defies the ancient laws. When her pack’s oldest rivals begin hunting her, she finds herself in the small town of York Harbor, Maine—far from everything she’s ever known.
In Maine, she crosses paths with the dark and rebellious Grey Donavan, and something ignites within her soul. There’s just one problem: Grey is human. Their instant connection turns into a passionate romance, and Ashling begins to believe she can create her own life outside of wolf laws. When she begins to uncover long-buried pack secrets—secrets that threaten to destroy all she holds dear—Ashling’s courage and tenacity are tested. Will she choose her deep and enduring love for Grey, or will she follow Old Mother’s path to her destiny?
With the rich depth of the heart of werewolf folklore, this pulls in, and then unleashes it into a modern, teenage world.
Ashling is a werewolf princess, kept in hiding due to a prophecy which claims she will save them all. When she turns fourteen, her father hands her over to be wed--an arranged marriage Ashling refuses to accept. As danger mounts, Ashling makes an exciting escape to the States where she must enter normal human life, while still watching her back and protecting those around her.
I'm not usually a werewolf fan, but this story grabbed me in during the first chapters. The dark, rich mythology of the werewolf clans and Ashling's situation promise a wonderful adventure. This deepness then flip-flops to a more flippant, American teenage lifestyle where drama, romance and teenage rebellion issues arise. At first, I was a little disappointed but the story again keeps up pace and offers a nice, action packed ride.
Ashling is a character with quite a few corners. She can be golden hearted and valiant, but she can also be snippy and moody. There are times her decisions make the skin crawl, and her disrespect for especially her elder's advice doesn't speak well of her. But she learns and manages to pull through into a heroine to cheer for. The other characters are nicely done, adding just the right touch of balance. The constant reminder of the danger Ashling is in hangs in the background like a dark shadow, keeping the teenage drama side at bay.
There's romance...tons of it. Grey is a perfect mixture of sweet and dangerous. His personality and very own background give him a special flare which give the plot a nice shot of spice. There's quite a bit of mystery behind him, which keeps the tension high until the end. The relationship between him and Ashling is more of an instant attraction with deep commitment spoken extremely early on. Still, the chemistry holds nicely and makes up for any earlier lack of depth.
Summed up, this is a great read for teenage werewolf fans who like a lot of romance mixed in with the high-stakes tension.
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