In a world divided between the Hunters and the Warriors, the prisoners who have fallen prey to King Cyrus's decrees are forced into the arena to fight until death. The winner is granted mercy and the privilege to see another sunrise–for the loser, it’s death unto the weak.
Seventeen year-old Princess Echo races towards freedom to find out who she really is, and to put a world that has been swallowed by lies back together again.
And then there’s Ayden. His very existence as a Hunter is forbidden, and with his otherworldly, violet eyes Echo is finding it hard to stay away from him. When death threatens their forbidden love Echo and Ayden are forced to do the unthinkable–how far will they go to be together?
Many thanks to Nadège Richards and Permuted Press for providing a review copy of this book.
In the reading of Burning Bridges I found myself pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I say this because I had already formed a preconceived notion of it. Richards had told me that Burning Bridges was her early work, and disclosed the fact that she felt that it was naïve and not her best. Regardless of this, I moved forward with reading it. While I recognize much of what she meant, I still find the story to be compelling. It captured my attention for reasons I can't seem to appropriately articulate. I intend to read the rest of the series. I am excited to both: see how the journey continues, and witness Richards' metamorphosis as a writer and young woman.
One may wonder how I could expect to see an author's personal growth through their writings. In this book, the author's voice is present in an almost resonant way. The narrative offers subtle reflections on personal issues such as transitions into adulthood, and universal concepts like autonomy versus governance. I anticipate this voice to become clearer and more sophisticated as the series progresses. And I couldn't be more excited.
The characters do not merely serve as a platform for the author's voice, however. Each behaves in a manner that is appropriate to their age and circumstance. Even characters which at first sight appear to be depth-less, turn out to have deeper modes and motivations. The dynamic between the characters is used well to emulate, in the reader, the range of emotions the principal characters experience. A favorite example of this is the confusion about the Queen's mercurial behavior toward her daughter.
The pacing is good, and the narrative hooks are well formed and placed. I found myself easily driven toward the end. The transitions are only awkward in a couple places. This is mostly an editing issue as it is due to incorrect announcement of which first person voice is being used.
For being traditionally published, I was surprised at the number and types of editing issues I found. In addition to the one type already mentioned, there are also quotation marks on non-dialog segments and simple typos. In an overall balance against the positive aspects, it is still a good story. It is strong enough to carry a reader beyond the distractions.
About the author (from author's page)
Nadège Richards is the author of the Bleeding Heart Trilogy and
currently attends college for her BA in journalism. Her name is of French
origin, though she's never been to France. She wrote her first novel about
aliens and goats in the 8th grade and has had a passion for story-telling ever since.
Her friends and family are her biggest inspiration, and the occasional cup of tea.
When not reading and writing obsessively, she's usually found studying, social networking, or at home with her family in sunny Pennsylvania.
I love books! For most of my life I have been reading them, and giving my insights to friends and family. This blog is for sharing that passion with the many others that love books too.