DIVINE PREY by Chris Andrews - new fantasy novel with awesome worldbuilding
Chris Andrews began his writing career when he boldly and ignorantly announced he could write a better novel than the one he’d just read.
You can read more about Chris here:
Divine Prey is the first book in the Noramgaell Saga series.
Lush world building, interspecies romance and a fast paced, perilous adventure. Divine Prey certainly kept me turning the pages with its story of Caroline, princess turned werewolf turned champion of a goddess. She never does as she is told. I like her!
Andrews has deftly created a world of subtle magic, which expands as the plot progresses, adding depth to our understanding of its unique history and mythology, maintaining interest. The deeper you go into the story the more intricate the silver strands of plot become.
The story begins with Princess Caroline, hidden in a nunnery to bear her illegitimate child. But the gods have other plans for her. Relying on pure instinct she refuses to answer the call to servitude of Marnier Du Shae the goddess of healing. Attacked by a werewolf Caroline is transformed into a creature she herself genuinely fears. The evil within. But her burdens and responsibilities are doubled as she develops magical powers, something she has been taught all her life to despise. Grief for her child taints every day, presenting another layer of challenge for her.
Caroline is a well-rounded character who has the grace and strength to tackle what her new adventurous life throws at her. But she is a stubborn girl, with fierce loyalties. She’s not afraid to challenge the divine will of the gods who seek to control her fate for their own desires.
Elias, her soulmate, is just as confused about his reaction to Caroline as she is about him. Their destinies are obviously entwined somehow but no answers are forthcoming in this volume, much to my frustration! It’s a tantalizing taster really, to the series. We can only hope that what we want for these two will happen, but there is the distinct possibility it will be twisted into something unexpected.
Caroline’s loyal companion Kirsty is too good to be true most of the time. A young, seemingly innocent girl, she is brave and self-sacrificing to the point of idiocy. She has no guile. No malice. No jealousy. Seems to me the girl needs a temper tantrum to set things straight!
Family love and loyalty is explored only briefly at the end. It feels like there’s a lot more to discover there, hopefully in book two!
The ‘grand scheme’ trope is saved from becoming tedious by plausible developments and snippets which help us make sense of what we think we know, but also stirs up further questions. It’s as if the author is smiling wryly to himself as we blunder about in his story trying to keep up. It takes skill to keep the plates spinning in a created world that could easily have become too confusing, but Andrews keeps us along for the ride with clever touches of backstory, woven seamlessly into the narrative.
Divine Prey is a great read. I enjoyed it immensely. There’s a richness here that invites me into the next volume. Soon, I hope.
Chris' website: fandelyon.com