THE RAZVAK HUNTER (RAZVAK SERIES #1) - AREL B. GRANT

Before… 
Aelwyd has worked hard to become strong. As the Fairest One of Vallenthar, her power is formidable. Years of battle honed her into a fearsome warrior who never falters in front of an enemy. However, there are shadows that when they come, they can swallow you whole. 

Now... 
Dalbran knows nothing of friends, joy, or mischief. Days are filled with pain and exhaustion, but nighttime used to be his own. Even that is now lost, for something lurks in the shadows of sleep, clawing at him the moment his eyes close.

This book was definitely not what I was expecting, it kept me hanging and left me wanting more.  Beautiful language, an intriguing world, realistic characterisation and a plot that just about begs a reader to put the pieces together – The Razvak Hunter really does have it all.

This novel is split into two perspectives, on one side there is Aelwyd and on the other, Dalbran.  

The Rose of Vallenthar, a ruby that connected every living being on the earth, will chose only the most beautiful woman in the land, gifting her with the holy power of Altarya’s blood and forging her will into the inescapable resolve of the heavens.  This woman, the Fairest One, belonged to the people, shackled to her duty as a public figure, made to be admired by all but no one in particular.  When Aelwyd accepted the Rose, she thought she would be free, from her childhood and from the desires of others.  But being the Fairest One is just another cage, one that separates her from the man she loves and requires she lay her emotions aside.  Meanwhile, the return of the Razvak, a dark being with the power to destroy a soul with a single touch, brings its own problems for Aelwyd and threatens to turn all she ever fought for into dust and ruin.  Her battle against the greatest evil to ever exist gives way to another battle.  A battle between her love for Rodan and her duty to her people.

Orphaned and taken in by a merciless warrior woman, Harer, Dalbran had accepted his life of pointless training and come to treasure the moments he had alone, the time he could drift off and escape from the agony and fatigue which plagued his waking hours.  A mere two years from freedom, two years before he could go off and see the world, Dalbran starts having dreams, jarring dreams that leave him fighting for breath and struggling to calm his racing heart.  Still he fights on, refusing to show any sign weakness.  But, when his dreams become more and more real and the effects more lasting, Dalbran is forced to accept something is not right.

I was beyond excited to start reading this novel but, inevitably, study got in the way and I was forced to put it aside.  But I have to say, I am so glad that I finally got back to it.  One of the best features of this book is the characters – their genuine portrayal making them both relatable and humorous.  Exceptional individuals with realistic feelings, Grant has created funny, impatient, morally challenged and virtuous characters that wish only for the best for their people.

The leading lady, Aelwyd, is a strong female character and I loved that, despite her control over her emotions and her strength as an individual, it is obvious that she can still feel, that things do affect her.  And her relationship with Rodan was utterly adorable.  Rodan is that caharacter that is insanely sweet towards those he loves and empathetic to many others but is simultaneously just so sick of everyone that he acts in the way many wish they could.  A love that needed to be concealed from the world, Aelwyd and Rodan’s relationship is the perfect example of a supportive relationship.  Rodan is so supportive of Aelwyd, recognising her strengths and letting her lean on him when it got too hard and Aelwyd would do anything to make sure Rodan is safe and happy.  They are the light of each other’s lives, their love just seemed to be so pure and beautiful to me.  As for Dalbran, he was a fantastic character; resilient and motivated, his determination to never let anything take over his life or control him made his plight all the more difficult to bear.  

The first thing I should probably mention about the plot of this book is that it is confusing at the beginning.  I found I had little grasp on the setting or the backstory.  That being said, as soon as you get further into the novel you should understand why that was done.  What I found most confusing was the two perspectives, I thought it was near impossible to find even the slightest correlation between the characters and their worlds but when you finally understand the link it is possibly the greatest feeling.  I absolutely adored the way I was made to piece together information as it came and every new discovery made me feel this (likely irrational) glee that made me dread the moment I had to put it down.  

And, of course, I can’t finish this review without mentioning the language of the writing.  The language in The Razvak Hunter is amazing, lush in detail but not so much that it overruns the plot or the character’s emotions and situations.  

My only real complaint is that it wasn’t longer.  I wanted this book to go on forever and putting it down after only 243 pages was almost painful.  I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book!


Rating: 4/5



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