Every time I see the news that a new Charlie N. Holmberg book is coming soon, my heart does a little leap for joy! Charlie is a storyteller of superior skill and creativity, and not once have I ever walked away from one of her books disappointed. I don't know about you, but I can get tired of seeing the same old fairy tales rewritten over and over again, and sometimes I just crave something new. And that's exactly what Charlie delivers! Fairytales you have never heard before, written in a way that make it feel like it's a tale told throughout the centuries. I entered into reading this book with high expectations, and they were surpassed beyond my wildest imagining.
Enna Rydar knows the woods are dangerous, full of mystings who could kill you easily and without conscience. Mystings arrived into their realm years ago, when the mortal realm and the monster realm collided. Not long after, Enna's mother was killed by one of them while still pregnant, and Enna was saved by her father. Mad with grief, he ventured into the monster realm and returned with a Telling Stone, which enable the bearer to know if a mysting is nearby. So Enna is protected...until a mysting finds them and marks her for death, and the only being she can turn to for help is another mysting. One who looks more humanoid than the rest but whose kiss can steal your soul.
I love, love, love Enna and Maekallus (the soul-stealing mysting). Sure, his intentions are not honorable in the slightest in the beginning. After all, his nature requires the stealing of souls, and when he's hurt, her soul is the only thing that could help him live. They were such a mismatched pair in the beginning, all fear and unknowing and loathing. Enna knew she couldn't trust Maekallus, but as he gained more of her soul, he became more human and less mysting. With that came compassion and kindness and concern for Enna, and they grew closer. Enna was so strong out of necessity, and Maekallus was able to help her let go and rely on someone else on occasion. The way the story flowed felt very natural, and their relationship wasn't forced at all. You could tell as time passed that their close proximity meant they had to get know each other as Enna and Maekallus, not as human and mysting, and with that knowledge came friendship and then love. The ending was just beautiful.
I continue to be amazed at Charlie N. Holmberg's writing and can't wait to see what she writes next!
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**