Wings Unseen. Rebecca Gomez Farrel. Young adult/Fantasy. 2017. 320 pages. 4 stars.
Stop running, silly girl. Live.
I received a copy from Meerkat Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
To end a civil war, Lansera’s King Turyn relinquished a quarter of his kingdom to create Medua, exiling all who would honor greed over valor to this new realm on the other side of the mountains. The Meduans and Lanserim have maintained an uneasy truce for two generations, but their ways of life are as compatible as oil and water.
When Vesperi, a Meduan noblewoman, kills a Lanserim spy with a lick of her silver flame, she hopes the powerful display of magic will convince her father to name her as his heir. She doesn’t know the act will draw the eye of the tyrannical Guj, Medua’s leader, or that the spy was the brother of Serrafina Gavenstone, the fiancee of Turyn’s grandson, Prince Janto. As Janto sets out for an annual competition on the mysterious island of Braven, Serra accepts an invitation to study with the religious Brotherhood, hoping for somewhere to grieve her brother’s murder in peace. What she finds instead is a horror that threatens both countries, devouring all living things and leaving husks of skin in its wake.
To defeat it, Janto and Serra must learn to work together with the only person who possesses the magic that can: the beautiful Vesperi, whom no one knows murdered Serra’s brother. An ultimate rejection plunges Vesperi forward toward their shared destiny, with the powerful Guj on her heels and the menacing beating of unseen wings all about.
Readers of all ages will enjoy Wings Unseen, Rebecca Gomez Farrell’s first full-length novel. It is a fully-imagined epic fantasy with an unforgettable cast of characters.
Wings Unseen reminds me so much of Falling Kingdoms. We have around 3 main POVs with a few minor ones that are placed in different points in the 2 feuding kingdoms. Vesperi is the daughter of the estate lord in Medua and secretly harbors magical powers. However, she was not named the heir to the land but instead was bequeathed to her weak sickly brother. Janto, the heir to Lansera has gone on a quest to learn more about ruling his future kingdom. Serra, queen-to-be, follows the Order to find out what she has to do to save her kingdom from ruin.
Things I did not expect:
•The harsh language regarding women. It was very adultlike for a YA book. Words such as “cunt” were frequent in the book.
•A kind king????? I’m genuinely shocked nice kings exist
•It took so long for these characters to overlap. Normally fantasy books with diff POVs overlap quickly but this took over 100 pages. Despite this, it was still good
•Plot centering on individualistic paths
•A POV OF A PIGEON. We’re in 2017 Wings Unseen is in 2057.
Each character was unique in their own way and I grew to love them! Vesperi is wild and unruly but it’s the perfect balance to Serra’s calm and poised. Even with a patriarchal society, Vesperi and Serra managed to overcome it in their own ways. Janto was an unconventional male character, not asserting his masculinity. I couldn’t feel him dripping testosterone yet respected him as a character. As the book passed I was more partial to Vesperi and found Serra to be rather annoying. I want this book to be one that doesn’t pit women against each other given that the society already has a low view of them. The other problem I had with this book was that my ship was not sailing. Please just give me what I want. No more love triangles, PLEASE.
I enjoyed the writing of Farrell The places were vivid enough that I was able to picture myself there with them. Each action was written to such precision that it felt like a well-directed movie in my head, leaving little for me to fill in. And that’s great! For a high fantasy book, the author’s ability to describe is essential and Farrell excelled at it.