Thursday, May 10, 2018

Windsworn by Derek Siddoway

Windsworn by Derek Alan Siddoway 
Self-Published. 2017.
Ebook. 225 pages.

Windsworn is a charming young adult fantasy adventure that features a dynamic female lead and plenty of gryphons! I managed to blow right this book in just two days because of how fast-paced and entertaining it was.

Windsworn tells the story of Eva, a young girl living with her adoptive father, who one day stumbles upon a thief in possession of an unhatched gryphon egg. Once it hatches, she ends up becoming attached to it and learns she must now train and join ranks known as the Windsworn. The Windsworn train in battle tactics to become warriors who go into battle with their gryphons. While training, Eva uncovers a large plot that threatens the Windsworn and much

This was a really engaging, fun read. Siddoway has created an imaginative and entertaining world that really made me want to be  part of it. His world-building is strong and I appreciate that he put such time and effort into creating a fully-fleshed world with a variety of unique elements. A lot of interesting details were added to the story to make it authentic, and I particularly loved the addition of a Golem in this book.

One of the things that drew me to this book was the emphasis on and inclusion of gryphons, since they are a fantasy creature that tends to be overlooked more than others. I thought that Siddoway's description of them was vivid and he brought them to life extremely well; every gryphon comes out just a bit different in every author's unique vision, and I loved what resulted from Siddoway's imagination. My only disappointment was that there wasn't quite as much about them as I would have liked, as I felt that a book that so heavily focuses on gryphons should have included more about them.

The characters all felt very well-developed and each seemed to add an important element to the story. Eva in particular has a lot of important growth throughout the novel that I really liked following along with. She undergoes many momentous events and experiences and, as expected, she changes with them and learns a lot as a person, all of which molded her into a really well-formed character. Her father, Soot, is also a fantastic character that I personally really liked. He is a good man that adds a lot to the personality and formation of Eva's own personality. I was a bit skeptical at first when a romantic interest was introduced, but I felt a bit relieved when I saw how well Siddoway handled it. It didn't overwhelm the story as most romantic subplots tend to do, which I was very thankful for.

The pacing of this book was a bit off and on at times. The beginning and end of this book felt like there was good, even pacing, but there were a few parts throughout the middle that did feel rushed. The training in particular felt rushed, and I would have liked there to be more time spent in some of these areas. I also had mixed feelings about many of the plot elements and the path this story takes. At times, I felt it was rather predictable and a bit trope-heavy, but at the same time I felt that Siddoway did a good job of making things unique and fresh, so it wasn't entirely consistent one way or the other.

Overall, I've given Windsworn four stars. This wasn't the most amazing thing I've ever read, but I really enjoyed it all the same and would absolutely recommend it. I look forward to book two!

*I received a copy of Windsworn in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating of the book.*

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