There is something irresistibly mystical about Leah Cypess's debut novel Mistwood. From the very first page, readers are drawn into the haunting, imaginative world of Samorna. The titular mist pervades almost every aspect of the story, shrouding everything in mystery -- from the truth behind the conspiracy, to the Shifter's own memories. The mythology of the novel is arresting, epic and original. I can truly say I've never read anything like Mistwood. Though I've never been interested in high fantasy, Cypess makes that type of epic flights readily accessible by giving the reader a prepossessing heroine who combines raw power and bitter doubt, simultaneously a legend and a flesh and blood girl. This is truly Isabel's story, so while her character is beautifully crafted, the secondary characters sometimes feel a little flat. The narrative style is elegant, subtly using imagery to build the mystical aura of the Mistwood, and reading like an adult fairy tale. Cypess does brilliant work in this novel, building a breathtaking new world and turning preconceived stereotypes on their heads. One of my favorite dynamics in the novel was that between Isabel and Rokan: Rokan is the passionate, reckless, emotional one, while Isabel is cold, calculating, and strong. The backstory of the court intrigues adds an extra layer of romanticism to the plot and sets the stage for the surprising twists along the way -- tragic twists that will leave readers heartbroken over the unimaginable choices Isabel must make. This old world epic fantasy will enthrall fans of every genre.
Click here to purchase Mistwood by Leah Cypess.
Come back tomorrow for my interview with Leah Cypess!
This novel is part of the Debut Author Challenge 2010.