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Review: Slumber

Slumber, the first book in the Chronicles of Fade series by Samantha Young, was released in the U.S. in eBook format on May 14, 2011 and paperback format on June 11, 2011.

It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and in eBook format only at Barnes & Noble. (The eBook at Amazon is available here.)

Published by CreateSpace, the print edition is 570 pages.

Goodreads description:

A sleeping beauty may be the damsel in distress, but her White Knight? Why her rather un-knightish best friend of course. And the White Knight’s White Knight? Well… none other than her reluctant mortal enemy…

When Haydyn falls victim to the mysterious Sleeping Disease, the world of Phaedra is thrown into Chaos.

Rogan, Haydyn’s best friend and handmaiden, is the only one who can save her. Together, with the Royal Guard and their young Captain, Wolfe Stovia, Rogan must set off across the provinces to find the Somna Plant that will wake Haydyn from her dying sleep.

Beset on all sides by the chaos, Rogan tumbles into a dark world of kidnapping, prejudice, betrayal and love… a journey that will change her forever, and a journey that will change their world forever, if she does not retrieve the cure.

YA Fantasy Romance for older readers.

***

Rogan took her responsibilities as best friend and protector of Princezna Haydyn Dyzvati very seriously. So when Haydyn succumbed to the sleeping disease that could only be cured by the somna plant, Rogan was ready to do whatever it took to save her.

Even if that meant journeying to the farthest reaches of Phaedra into hostile territory. And even if that meant traveling with the Captain of the Guard, Vikomt Wolfe Stovia, her longtime adversary and son of the man who murdered her entire family.

Haydyn was the only person she trusted and loved and Rogan would not give up without a fight. Phaedra needed her. She needed her. Haydyn’s recovery was worth any unpleasantness and risk to her own safety that might come from traveling side-by-side with a man she despised and one who might just take this opportunity to seek out his revenge.

But when their travels put them in even greater peril than she could ever have imagined, Rogan may just have to seek help and solace from this most unlikely of persons, her sworn enemy.

***

Slumber is a gripping, deliciously tormenting, and absolutely magical tale about a feisty and daring heroine and her brave and worthy protector who are on a quest to bring back the cure to their slumbering Princezna.

Phaedra is in jeopardy. With the Princezna’s evocation growing weaker by the day, unrest begins to make itself known at Phaedra’s distant borders.

And when Princezna Haydyn falls into a deep sleep that will most assuredly result in death without the cure, the rare somna plant that is located at the farthest reaches of Phaedra, Rogan sets out to find this plant that will save her friend and restore order.

To begin this journey, she is required to be accompanied by fifty of the royal guard, including their Captain, Wolfe Stovia, whose father slaughtered her family in front of her when she was just a child so that he could acquire her special talents for the Kral – or King.

As an Azyl, she has the magical ability to find anything that is demanded of her. The very ability which caused her to lose her family, but one that could now save her best friend.

The journey is not an easy one, and the territories they pass through under the guise of a diplomatic mission for the Princezna were not the friendly lands they had once been when under Haydyn’s evocation.

As Wolfe and the rest of the guard try to stay alert to any threats, Rogan is set on keeping her distance and retaining her freedom, even if it puts her safety on the line.

Slumber is a heroic journey, with danger and excitement around every turn. Each new stop along the way brings with it a new threat to either their safety or the delicate peace that Rogan and Wolfe have managed to establish in their contentious relationship.

This exciting and harrowing tale will keep readers flying through the pages, and this fairly lengthy novel will not feel like one. Readers will become instantly immersed in this delightful tale of bravery, selflessness, love and self-discovery.

Readers will be drawn in by Rogan’s strength, determination, stubbornness and courage and Wolfe’s intensity, devotion and passion.

Author Samantha Young has created a remarkable story that incorporates all the elements of a traditional fairytale, an epic adventure and an impassioned love story. Her writing is exceptional, the story flows beautifully, and her two main characters are well-suited – both equally headstrong. They really come to life on the page and their chemistry just sizzles.

Slumber is an absolute must read, but may not be appropriate for younger teens. While this story reads like a young adult novel, it contains a few more violent and sensual scenes than are the norm for young adult books.

Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

On a personal note:

Okay, so I am totally going to gush again about another one of Samantha Young’s books. Just be prepared.

Epic. I told you I was going to use this word on the blog, and Slumber is the perfect book in which to do so. This was a totally epic adventure. I felt like I was on this amazing journey with the characters and when it was over I felt so sad having to say goodbye. I definitely wanted more.

I did not expect to like this nearly as much as Moonspell, the first book in the author’s young adult series about werewolves. This wasn’t exactly young adult and it was billed as “romantic fantasy” which is not a genre I typically read.

Aside from a few scenes which may be a little mature for a younger crowd, this read exactly like my favorite young adult books. It had adventure, tension, a love story, danger, the possibility of a happily-ever-after, a strong female main character and a swoon-worthy love interest.

And I’m not talking a little tension. It was unbelievably, maddeningly torturous in the best of all possible ways.

First there was Clary and Jace, then there was Rose and Dimitri, and now there’s Rogan and Wolfe. The dynamic between the two characters kept me tied in knots. Every time they argued I just wanted Wolfe to grab Rogan and kiss her.

And I love Rogan. She managed to drive me crazy and at the same time I understood exactly why she did things the way she did and reacted as she did. Her behavior while frustrating was not out of character or unbelievable.

When I first opened the eBook my heart sunk. I saw a map of the territory and a glossary of terms. Those tend to always be big turn-offs for me. Especially with eBooks as you can’t easily get back to the page to reference them without really disturbing the reading experience.

But they were a non-issue. You don’t really need the map unless you absolutely love that kind of thing and want to picture the world in more detail. And the glossary of terms was only necessary if you wanted to know hierarchy among the titled groups. While I may not have remembered exactly which title was higher up than another, I found that I didn’t have to check that glossary key once.

This did not feel like a novel of well over five hundred pages although by the story’s end I felt as if I’d known the characters forever.

And although it’s called Slumber, the story is not like Sleeping Beauty. While it is a fairytale of sorts it is very much its own adventure.

I am so excited that this is part of a series, which I didn’t find out until I checked Goodreads after I finished the book. I want more, even if it means waiting until 2012.

And I’ve just got to say that this – I have no idea why a traditional publisher has not grabbed this author up. She is a brilliant writer. Both books I’ve read have such a beautiful flow and even without a team of content editors or proofreaders, these self-published books feel very polished.

With a couple tweaks this book would be a perfect read for young adults of all ages.

Samantha Young is definitely on my list of author’s to stalk.

***

I actually have quite a few favorite passages. A couple are too long, one is definitely not rated PG, and one is too much of a spoiler. But I think this one is just perfect:

Those aquamarine eyes blazed down at me, all masculine arrogance and determination. “I always get what I want, Rogan. Always.”

The second book in the series, Sneak Thievery, is slated for release in 2012.

Note: This book, while mainly young adult, has some content that may not be appropriate for young adults of all ages.

And note: This book is written in British English.

***

This review is based on an eBook I received from the author.

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