Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Rules of Enchantment by Wendy Tardieu

Synopsis (via Goodreads): When a Sorcerer and a Scribe Team Up to Fulfill an Ancient Prophecy, The Fate of The World Lies in Their Hands

In the mythical kingdom of Salyndria, an exiled sorcerer named Leith plots to overthrow the restrictions placed on the use of magic by the Academy. Suspecting the worst, the Academy sends a beautiful young scribe, Kyler, to be his apprentice and act as an unwitting spy.

Leith tries to drive her away by proving his reputation as a vicious and unforgiving master, but he soon discovers his new pupil is far more useful than she appears. As her charms and magical abilities become all too tempting for him to resist, the two join forces to fulfill a hidden prophecy that will grant them incredible power.

Together, the sorcerer and the scribe will change Salyndria's history forever.

Their story is equally sinister and sensual, a romantic dark fantasy adventure full of suspense and surprises.

Fans of Defended by Darkness by Terry Bolryder, A Torn Paige by L. Rose, Innocence by Dean Koontz, and The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith will love this fantasy romance. 

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product. 

The Rules of Enchantment was an enjoyable read, but I was a little disappointed with the worldbuilding. We're introduced to this completely fictional place, yet we learn very little about it over the course of the book. There were old gods and new, ancient evils roaming cursed forests, legendary battles fought in the past, but very few details were actually shared about any of those things. I also wanted to know more about the Orders and how people were chosen for them. It just felt like a wasted opportunity, because the potential was definitely there. I wanted to know more, and I think that says a lot. 

I also felt like most of the story was rushed. The author crammed a lot into 142 pages, so there wasn't a lot of time for the characters to grow and evolve. It also stifled the story itself, since the author only focused on one potential scenario. I like it when multiple threads are woven into a single story, since it adds a lot of complexity and depth, but this book was missing those crucial components that really give a story it's oomph. It also meant that the relationship between Kyler and Leith escalated VERY quickly, and without them really having to get to know one another. Leith's demeanor seemed to change overnight, but it was simply because the author skips ahead several weeks without much preamble.

Additionally, I didn't understand Kyler's inability to use magic, and hated when the author used another character to explain something away instead of actually addressing the issue. She was too powerful for simple spells? Okay, I can get on board with that, but I still wanted to know WHY. I don't want my questions to be brushed aside for the sake of furthering the story. Also, characters (Rowan specifically) cannot confess their undying love out of thin air. If these are going to be important, lasting relationships, we need to know more about how they developed. Oh, and lust diminished someone's magic? THEN NO ONE IN THIS BOOK SHOULD HAVE HAD MAGIC.

Basically, I wish the author had spent more time on this book and developed her characters and the world more carefully. If someone loves someone else, I want to know why and how they got there. If you're going to mention Orders, towns, ancient gods and archaic languages, take the time to really explain how those work. Readers typically have great imaginations, but we also need help seeing the author's vision for their story. It was really hard to see the whole picture for this one, which was super disappointing. 

I'm curious if there will be a second book, since the ending was very vague. I know what the author was insinuating with Rowan's vision, but it would have been nice to have an epilogue or one more chapter from Kyler and Leith's perspectives. If you're going to read this one, you'll have to suspend your disbelief for most of the book and just go with the flow. It's an interesting story, although I don't think it can be called "an erotic fantasy adventure novel," because there was very little adventure and even less erotic fantasy. (★★⋆☆☆)

10 comments:

  1. Seems like a lot of negatives, thanks for sharing your thoughts

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    1. I liked the overall story, but hated how underdeveloped everything was.

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  2. Lust diminishes magic ability? That's a weird and unpleasant concept. Sorry to hear this didn't live up to expectations. I don't think this would be for me either. :/

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  3. I didn't know about this one but I don't know... I wonder how you'll feel about book 2

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  4. Less than 150 pages is very little time to really develop anything - especially a fantasy world. Seems like the author needed to expand the story so she could slow down the story and let the characters and the world grow a bit.

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  5. A lot of talking, not a lot of explaining, noted

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  6. Aww, seems like a bit of a bummer! I totally agree about world-building; if you're gonna create this world, really go for it, or else it doesn't even matter that it's not set in our normal world.

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  7. Aw that's a bummer. This made me laugh though "Oh, and lust diminished someone's magic? THEN NO ONE IN THIS BOOK SHOULD HAVE HAD MAGIC." :) Too bad the world building was a little lacking- I think that would have bothered me too!

    I just saw your comment on my blog by the way. Welcome back!!!!!!

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  8. It seems this book didn’t do what it said on the tin! That sucks!

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  9. Another well-written review, Lindsi. I don't think I'll be rushing out to buy this one, though. Shame. The blurb sounded good.

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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless