Saturday, January 10, 2015

Bound by Duty – Review


Bound by Duty is the first instalment in the Bound series by Stormy Smith. The novel focuses on Amelia, an 18-year-old with massive power she has no idea how important it is or how to control it.
Throughout her whole life she has been lied to by everyone. Her mother was murdered by Queen Julia, a malicious woman who craves dominion over all who possess magic. Not only that, as a baby Amelia was betrothed to Julia's son, and must wed him when she's 21.
Also, throughout her life her father has been distant and the only source of comfort had been had brother, Cole, who has had to leave in order to find out more about Amelia's power and destiny.
Bound by Duty moves at a quick pace; it opens with a scene, narrated in the third person, of the Queen and hunters. The rest of the novel is in the first person from Amelia's perspective.

Amelia is a very down to earth and highly believable character. We see her emotions rise and fall, build up and deflate. The reader feels her confusion and anger equally. It is like being one with her. She is also an Elder, and it remains fairly unclear to both the protagonist and the reader what that is, only that she is the last of her kind and the strongest of all the Elders.
She is often funny and sarcastic, and her situations are believable and natural. At one point she says: "I have to be the only person on the planet capable of pissing off every guy in my life on the same day while managing to get them all to lie to each other - while lying to them myself."

Furthermore, Amelia's character progresses slowly, despite some bad decisions which lead to more trouble, it is clear that she means well despite being unable to fathom the forces that she's up against. As Amelia learns more about herself and history, she becomes entangled in the theme of duty versus love.

Bound by Duty is rich in imagery. I particularly enjoyed those used to describe a Amelia's power; all her life she's been told to hide and keep her power hidden, so one of the images she uses to describe her power, she says "I felt my power build; pinpricks of electricity racing through my veins, filling my blood inch by inch."
I loved the image "I was a war-torn battlefield of emotion."

Although the novel mainly focuses on Amelia, there is a richness of characters. We see how others develop like Cole and Aidan, the latter being one of the mysterious characters along with Derrick.
Others include Bethany, the southern girl, who wants to hook Amelia up with a guy and gives relationship advice, as well as Micah, another mystery character who is not what he seems but appears to be a bit of a Snape-kind-of-character.
Finally, although we do not see much of Queen Julia, just a handful of times, the emotions she leaves the reader with are exactly those Amelia feels, hatred and anger at the mere mention of your name.

Bound by Duty has many wonderful and memorable quotes, so I'm just going to list a few here:
"Now I was falling faster than a comet plummeting to the earth, just waiting to create a giant explosion. Just like a comet, I had no idea exactly how much damage I would leave in my wake."
"Because I started our relationship with truth. I haven't lied you. I manipulated you to get you here, but I didn't lie to you. I don't lie."
"Your heart is yours to give, it is no ones to take. Not a queen. Not a prince. No one."

I enjoyed the novel and look forward to reading the next instalments of the Bound series.


Note: I received a free copy of Bound by Duty from its author Stormy Smith for an honest review.