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I Belong


Review: Soulbound by Heather Brewer

Title: Soulbound

Author: Heather Brewer

Genre: YA Dystopian

Series: Legacy of Tril (Book 1)

Publication Date: June 19, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 0803737238 (Dial/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0803737235 (Dial/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Kayla

Synopsis:

Sometimes you need to break all the rules to follow your heart…

Tril is a world where Barrons and Healers are Bound to each other: Barrons fight and Healers cure their Barrons’ wounds in the ongoing war with the Grappler King. Sixteen-year-old Kaya was born a Healer, but she wants to fight. In Tril, and at Shadow Academy, where she is sent to learn to heal, it is against Protocol for Healers to fight. So Kaya must learn in secret.

Enter two young men: One charming, rule-following Barron who becomes Bound to Kaya and whose life she must protect at all costs. And one with a mysterious past who seems bent on making Kaya’s life as difficult as possible. Kaya asks both to rain her to fight, but only one will, and the consequences will change their lives forever.

Quick and Dirty: A girl who lives in a world with a sort of caste system rebels against the rulers.

Opening Sentence: The sharp edge of the paper sliced into my thumb and I sat up with a jerk.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Kaya has grown up in an Unskilled village (imagine normal life without technology) with her Barron parents, hiding from the Zettai Coucil and their tight hold on society. But then a legendary (but really common) Grappler attacks her peaceful town, killing many (including her best friend) in the process. So when the letter comes in the mail, threatening her “illegal” Barron parents, she is shipped off to Shadow Academy to train for the ongoing war against the Grappler King. After an encounter with a Grappler in the woods, Kaya reaches the foreboding Shadow Academy. She learns that she is to be Bound the next day to an incredibly handsome and unswervingly loyal Trayton. But there’s also the young man who saved her life from the Grappler–who seems to hate her guts. Both are asked to teach her how to wield a katana, but only one will. Kaya has to survive the increasing Grappler attacks, question every rule the Zettai Council has put in place and protect her parents from the society they tried to escape many years ago.

Soulbound is a suspense-driven book that is full of snarky remarks and sweet and mysterious boys that drive you crazy. The beginning was slow (more of a world building and setting up the background for the conflicts than action), but once Kaya starts training, the intrigue soared and the main character arc finally began.

If you think this is a star-crossed lovers romance, you think wrong. Okay, there might be a smidgeon of a hint of one at the end, but about 90% of the book focuses on Kaya and Trayton. Darius (the mysterious guy that saved Kaya) isn’t described in a romantic way, which isn’t a bad thing. It makes the book unpredictable. Well just a tad.

I saw the twist at the end coming a mile away. Brewer tried to hide it, but just one mention had me thinking. But the opposition in the book…I didn’t see that coming at all. Well, I guessed but sort of threw it out of my possibilities. Brewer doesn’t leave you hints in the details of the characters, but in their actions, which I think is a different and unique way of writing. It creates heavy suspense with no exact ending in mind.

I liked the plot–when it finally started. It took about half the book to get to the central conflict. The writing plot wise was great, but the details were mainly told and not shown. It was very direct and in some parts left no room to read inbetween the lines (something I think all authors should let the readers do).

Boy does this end in a cliffhanger. For some of you it might be an awful cliffhanger that leaves you throwing the book out the window then running outside grab it and read it again. For others (like me) you are left in suspense but are content to wait until the sequel. I will definitely put the sequel Soulbroken on my to-read list, but I’m content to wait another year to come back to the world of Tril.

Notable Scene:

Slowly, Mr. Groff approached my table and leaned on it with his palms. He leaned close to me, so close that I could count the pores on the tip of his nose, and growled, “You will find your loyalty to this cause, Miss Oshiro, if I have to beat it into your skull.”

I bit back. “Loyalty to any cause doesn’t have to be forced on people, Mister Grodd.”

The left corner of his lip twitched slightly. His eyes narrowed into slants. “You will report to the rose gardens for extra duties after class.”

I leaned forward, until we were almost nose to nose and I kept my voice low enough that my next words were for him and him alone, though Trayton was close enough that I knew that he could hear every syllable. “I’ll bee happy to. And every time I remove a prick from my skin, I’ll think of you.”

Mr. Groff’s face turned bright red, his words bellowing out of him as he pointed at the door. “Get out of my classroom, you insignificant Healer!”

Pushing back my chair, I stood and walked out of the room, letting the door slam behind me. I felt right. I felt justified. And as far as I was concerned, that moment was worth a hundred hours of extra duties, a million thorns, a thousand scrapes. Some pains were worth it.

Legacy of Tril:

1. Soulbound

2. Soulbroken (August 20, 2013)

FTC Advisory: Dial/Penguin Books provided me with a copy of Soulbound. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Soulbound by Heather Brewer, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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