Review of ‘A River Enchanted ‘

An enchanting and atmospheric read, A River Enchanted is a magical enemies-to-lovers romance that brings fae magic to life.

Storytelling

A River Enchanted
Rebecca Ross
Harper Voyager

A River Enchanted begins with Jack, tasked with returning home to the magical island of Cadence. Considered a bastard, his father unknown, Jake had never considered the island his home. And yet, as a bard, he has a unique sense of magic that allows him to call forth the fae tied to the elements.

But for Jake’s clan, magic comes with a price.

On the other side of the clan line, their enemies lie, able to do magic without a physical cost but unable to grow crops, forcing them to raid Jake’s compatriots.

Adaira believes the fae have taken the missing children, which is why she has called her “old menace” back to the island. Together they go from enemies to friends to lovers as they struggle to solve the island’s mystery.

The story moves at an elegant pace. Ross builds up the atmosphere of the land to build the story up. But what was also magical was how Jack must call forth the fae.

Jack has to play a piece from his harp to call forth the fae and enchant them as they would enchant humans for Adaira to talk to them. I loved how the fae were directly connected to the elements, first water, then earth, before calling forth the most powerful and deadly air. Each elemental brings its riddles and mysteries related to the children’s disappearance.

And when the children return, more questions are raised.

Ross builds up the tension within the story without jeopardizing the novel’s pace. There are times with it quickens, but overall, it flows with the music Jack is playing, and the reader gets lost with Jack in the music and magic he is weaving.

Characterization

Ross also focuses on building up those character dynamics. A River Enchanted is a magical fantasy. However, the story remembers to build up those character dynamics. A River Enchanted is, after all, an enemies-to-lovers tale. Adaira and Jack have something between them; a grudge built up from when they were children remains mysterious to the reader. But by getting to know the characters and their struggles growing up, Ross gives depth to the dynamics between them.

Jack and Adaira are no longer those children fighting in the mud. They are adults trying to find their place in the world. And while they do that, they ally, allowing something warm in the other. The slow build of their friendship is mature and realistic amidst the fantasy that governs the island. The fondness between them, those reluctant feelings they have that blossom, makes the reader invested in them as a couple.

Final Thoughts

Overall, A River Enchanted is a wonderfully beautiful novel. The atmosphere and the magic are reflected in the pacing, enchanting the reader as the music enchants the reader.

Rating: 4 out of 5.




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