Daughter of Havenglade by H. C. Harrington
“A sinister wizard.
A mysterious teacher.
A kingdom on the brink of collapse.
In the ancient kingdom of Havenglade, a brutal enemy is ravaging the countryside making his way closer to Gradur Castle. An aging king seeks protection from a council of loyal wizards. A peasant girl finds herself at the center of it all after bonding with a magical crystal and absorbing its magical essence.
After losing her parents, Laurena was given the chance of a lifetime to study wizardry under the mysterious and renowned teacher Unai.
Can she learn to harness the powers inside her before it’s too late…?” – From Amazon
Story – Decent
Though the plot lacks some originality, the world that the author has built is colorful, and the author as clearly put considerable creative energy into developing the systems and laws of the world they have made. We can only say that we wish more attention had been paid to the underwhelming plot and that the characters had been developed just a little bit more. Laurena has lost her parents, and while everyone seems to be asking her ‘What’s wrong?,’ we never get the feeling that anything truly is. Her emotions are fleeting; in the end, she has a lot of room for improvement as a character. The nightmares are interesting, but they do little to flesh her out.
“She heard voices, but they sounded distant. Unable to see clearly, she rubbed her eyes, and her arms felt weak. As her vision came into focus a strange woman in white garments stared at her with a hand over her mouth.”
Style and Format – Good
We can sing some praises here. The writing is good, there are not many errors, and the formatting is proper – in short, there is little to distract the reader from the plot. At times, the dialogue is stilted, things can be over-explained, and the vocabulary is basic. That being said, it works pretty well in its niche – it is a YA fantasy after all, but even under that lens, the vocabulary could use a bit more spice.
“Outside, the morning sunlight forced her eyes closed as they adjusted to the fullness of the sun’s rays. People were all around now, wandering back and forth, not paying Laurena any attention as she turned right as told by Malle.”
Literary Value – Average
Dead parents? Latent magic abilities? We will let the reader decide what they think. It is a standard coming of age story; honestly, the whole thing is average. Nothing here can offend you or scare you, the story was meant to be as bland as possible to be as palatable as possible, but it winds up just being boring, and even for a relatively short read, it is long winded.
“As she fell her body turned over, and she was facing the fast-approaching ground. She was about to close her eyes again when she felt a sharp pain in both her arms and she was jerked up into the air.”
Overall – 3, Decent, but could be better
There were many missed opportunities here, and while there was nothing here to make us not recommend it, we would be hard pressed to find anything that was presented here that was not done better elsewhere. In the end, there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours of your afternoon, but there are better books you can buy for a lot less.
Do you want to read Daughter of Havenglade? It is available on Amazon.