Title: A River Enchanted (Element’s of Cadence #1)
Author: Rebecca Ross
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication date: February 15th, 2022
House of Earth and Blood meets The Witch’s Heart in Rebecca Ross’s brilliant first adult fantasy, set on the magical isle of Cadence where two childhood enemies must team up to discover why girls are going missing from their clan.
Jack Tamerlaine hasn’t stepped foot on Cadence in ten long years, content to study music at the mainland university. But when young girls start disappearing from the isle, Jack is summoned home to help find them. Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind, plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instill fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home. Adaira, heiress of the east and Jack’s childhood enemy, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, and she hopes Jack can draw them forth by song, enticing them to return the missing girls.
As Jack and Adaira reluctantly work together, they find they make better allies than rivals as their partnership turns into something more. But with each passing song, it becomes apparent the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than they first expected, and an older, darker secret about Cadence lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.
With unforgettable characters, a fast-paced plot, and compelling world building, A River Enchanted is a stirring story of duty, love, and the power of true partnership, and marks Rebecca Ross’s brilliant entry on the adult fantasy stage.
Rebecca Ross is an auto-read for me ever since her debut YA duology – so of course I had to read her first foray into adult fantasy. Whereas I felt the first 30% of the book went along slowly and had a lot of world-building, the plot slowly picked up steam until we were barreling towards the finish and I was on my edge of the seat. Also, Rebecca how dare you with that ending. Give me A Fire Endless now!
Anyway, imagine a magical Irish/Scottish island with ethereal elemental spirits, wind that carrying your words across the island, and two sides at war for hundreds of years. Imagine a magical Berlin Wall between the two sides of the island. There are two pairs of islanders that the story follows – Torin/Sidra and Jack/Adaira. Chapters bounced back and forth between perspectives and the major plot point is that young girls are being snatched from the East side of the island and the characters are working on solving the mystery of who is kidnapping them. But add in secrets, hidden love, and lies.
I did end up loving this book by the end. It may have been a slower progression than I prefer, but that isn’t unheard of in the adult genre. And Rebecca’s writing always speaks to me so I knew if I kept with it I would end up enjoying the book. For a debut adult fantasy it was very good and I look forward to the sequel with bated breath.
Thank you to Harper Voyager and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!