Book Review: Willows of Fate by Suzanna J Linton
Title: Willows of Fate
Author: Suzanna J Linton
Genre: Paranormal & Urban
Amazon Rating: 3.9 stars
Reviewed by: Amanda Mabry
Suzanna J. Linton was born in Charleston, SC but grew up in rural Orangeburg County. At age eight, she tried to read The Secret Garden by herself. After following her mother around for a day, asking questions about the Yorkshire accent, she gave up, but that didn’t deter her in developing a deep appreciation for books and the worlds to which they open. A few years later, she wrote her first poem, which eventually led her to try writing fiction.
All her life, Desdemona has seen things others haven’t. Dragons, knights, dwarves, kids with three eyes. Heeding her mother’s advice, she keeps silent about this and struggles through life, pretending everything is normal. The break comes when her father’s disappearance drives her into a life of sex and alcoholism. Eventually, she struggles free. She begins to build a life for herself and learns how to ignore the “phantoms”.
At her mother’s death, Desdemona returns to a home haunted with memories but she is determined to not be shaken from what little normalcy she has. However, when her brother is murdered and she uncovers a family secret, Desdemona realizes that she may not be insane after all. What she sees may actually be real. And what she sees has begun to tell her to go with them to their world, that she is in danger, and that she has something others would kill for.
Willows of Fate is an urban fantasy novel (first in a series) with a good pace and great transition from reality to a more magical setting. I knew I wanted to read this one as soon as I saw the beautiful cover. (I am cover snob, sorry.) I read it quite quickly, not losing interest though I did feel some disappointments. The disappointments are acceptable, however, as I assume the questions I was left with will be answered later in the series.
Characters: All the characters were likable or relatable in some way although I felt some didn’t get the attention they deserved. There seemed to be a love interest sparking in the beginning that really just turned into more of an afterthought. And even that left me feeling torn, in my head I was rooting for two different guys to “get the girl.” Desdemona’s character was likable if not a little cliche. She seems to falter back and forth between being a badass and being a “woe is me, damsel in distress.” I hope to see some of these characters grow in the next book(s).
Setting: This author is a very talented world builder and the transition from one realm to the other was fantastic. She created a great air of mystery without turning it into confusion. While in the Land of Sun and Stone you get a world that feels medieval but is interwoven with magic and fantastical creatures.
Plot/Theme: I read Splintered by A.G. Howard right before this book and noticed a lot of parallels in plot and theme. I’m in no way suggesting this was intentional, just an observation. It’s amazing how two different authors can take a basic plot line (a character who sees and hears things others can’t, family tragedy, crazy aunt in a home, crossover to a magical world) and can spin them into unique stories. It’s a concept I never get tired of.
Overall Opinion: I really enjoyed this book. There were some small editing issues that have caused me to put down other books in the past but the story was so intriguing I didn’t care. I would recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy. I am absolutely looking forward to reading the next book, as well as Suzanna’s other works.
**Disclosure: I received a FREE copy of this book for my HONEST review**