Welcome to my Review-stop on the launch tour for Candace Wondrak’s The Harbinger!
Unique world-building and complex characters reel you right into The Harbinger.
YA is not a genre I read often but stepping out of my comfort zone lead me to a good story.
Faith Blackwell, an eighteen-year-old ‘cadet’ is a reckless rule-breaker, anxious to graduate and began her own career as an agent for the Division, the agency who polices the “otherworldly” issues involving earth and other realms from the Second—a world on the other side of a magical portal.
The regular field trip fifth-year cadets make to the Second to learn about and from the Elves—earth’s closest ‘friend’—will forever change Faith’s life, awakening her to a destiny… and a past dormant inside her.
Faith is a strong, flawed character. Sometimes she’s a brilliant young woman on the cusp of adulthood and others, she’s an annoying, rude, immature teenager.
I didn’t like the annoying, rude teenager because she tried too hard. Her efforts to be a lone wolf—for lack of a better name—felt forced, and lead to one bad decision after another.
The reflective, young woman inside Faith was much more honest and endearing and to me, had a better understanding of herself and her life.
It’s the annoying teenager who goes through the portal to the Second, but the young woman who returns, confused, but resolved to her destiny. She just has no idea how to get back to it.
Faith gets help with that from Light—Weylon Lightfoot—an Elven hunter, Faith’s tutor in the Second… and the man she’s drawn too. Light, hater of all things human, doesn’t understand his attraction to Faith—because she’s a smelly human—but believes she has a destiny to fulfill to save the Second, and he needs her with him.
The scenes where Faith and Light are both bewildered by their feelings for each other are the best. Their honesty rings true and adds the right touch of romance. But too soon, they fall back into their antagonistic, defensive snark and the moment is gone. For now.
Jag joins the story when he helps Light get Faith back to the Second. Jag is more than interested in Faith, and she’s a bit too interested in him for my liking. She’s had this slow-build going with Light, but not so much with Jag.
Strong writing and good editing help The Harbinger to flow with only one lapse—where Faith’s grandmother, Christine, is “Catherine” for a few paragraphs—taking me out of the story. I recommend this fantasy and read it quickly—book 2 is on the way!
The Harbinger (Book #1)
Genre: Reverse Harem/ Fantasy
Expected Publication Date: November 5th, 2018
The rules of the Second, a list by Faith Blackwell.
One: technology doesn’t work. The Second doesn’t need electricity when it has magic. Two: don’t trust anyone. The Second’s races—the Elven, the Malus, the Ulen and the Dracon—are way too pretty to trust. Three: when someone tells you you’re the new Harbinger, believe them. Bad things happen if you don’t.
Back in the sixties, the last Harbinger permanently opened the gateways between Earth and the Second. Humanity grew accordingly. Faith is in her fifth year at the Academy, with her sight set on joining the Division, the branch of government that enforces what most law enforcement can’t, like smuggling goods between worlds. Following her mother’s footsteps has always been the plan.
Of course, she doesn’t want to follow them to a T. Her mother had awful luck with men, as did her grandma. Faith wouldn’t mind finding out what’s so special about a man that it has her quirky grandma swearing at them constantly. A field trip to the Second is just what she needs.
Being the first female Harbinger in the Second’s history and having to face down the realm’s most dangerous Dracon, also known as the ridiculously-named Dread King? Not what she needs.
Faith isn’t a hero. That sort of responsibility is not what she wants. The perks that come with it—like a sexy but infuriating Elf, a flirty Malus, and a quiet and pensive Ulen—well, maybe for them she’ll make an exception to her grandma’s no-man rule.
Maybe she’ll have them all.
The Harbinger is the first in a slow-burn, reverse harem fantasy series. Expect eventual hot and steamy scenes, coupled with the Chosen One trope, and a heroine who will reluctantly try to save a world that isn’t hers.
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For a chance to win a $10 Amazon GC and a digital copy of Book #2 in The Harbinger Series, called The Fellowship, be sure to enter the giveaway below!
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