To survive, she must defy not only the odds but find the truth in her past that holds the key to her entire world.
“My name is Larkspur, and I am an Elemental.”
My people use the power of the earth to sustain life and defy our enemies. I should be at my father’s side as a royal princess. But as a half-breed, bastard child, that isn’t going to happen. Especially now.
I’ve been accused of attacking the queen, my wicked stepmother, and my life is suddenly on the line. I have only two options left to me: banishment, or training to become one of the King’s Elite Guards, an Ender.
Option one will kill me.
Option two is meant to break me and THEN kill me but is the only chance I have to survive.
Did I mention I have no power like the rest of the elementals, and my connection to the earth is worth next to nothing? That I can’t even sprout a pea plant?
Could things get any worse?
“It hurts far more to heal a wound, than to be wounded in the first place. When you heal, you are aware, and you must consciously take the steps to put things aright.”
Recurve is the first in a spinoff to the Rylee Adamson series. This actually does a very good job as establishing itself as a story separate from the main series. In fact, there are only hints in this first book that they are even connected in the same world at all. See, this actually takes place quite a few years before the first Rylee book, Priceless, even though it was written long after.
This also almost feels like a prequel to the series while also feeling like the start. There is a lot of flashbacks to things that happened in the past to catch us up to the present. The story also has the feel of the training that place before the main character becomes the main character in her own story. There is a lot of training scenes in this book as Lark becomes part of the Earth Elemental group’s protection corps: the Enders. There is only the bare minimum in hints in Recurve that Lark, our main character, is going to become something even greater later on.
Larkspur is our typical urban fantasy female protagonist. She is (becoming) a badass, who won’t take shit from anyone. She is also the “special” one in the series, with all the uniqueness that it entails. In Lark’s case, in this series’ case, she is something rare and almost instinct in their world. There is also the fact that no one in her family likes her, no one in her (for lack of a better word) town likes her. She is an outcast. It isn’t for anything she has done, but because of the feelings of others outside of her control. She also has the sordid past, mired in blood and death and pain. She hits all the urban fantasy protagonist checkboxes.
I have read the main series, so I know how expansive the world can be. Yet Recurve was very basic and insular. Then again, the elementals aren’t anything we had seen in the Rylee Adamson series by the time this book came out – we actually did have to learn about everything here just to know what is going on. For what should be the supernatural standard of excellence, the elementals are really not very good peoples. They’re super insular, even within their own communities and it is clear they can turn to infighting amongst the powers very easily. They don’t help each other out at all. They basically live in hatred. It isn’t a good look.
The big deal with this was dealing with mind control and memory wiping. Not the morality or ethics of it. No, it is about what to do when everyone can be turned against you, themselves, and the group at large simply because someone in power wishes to get their way. We aren’t done exploring this topic yet, there is still a lot more to go. Yet, it is interesting to see. Most series I read seem to ignore the implications that this can imply, so it is nice to see they’re being talked about for once.
This book was just really, really quick all around. There is a lot of things that happen and decisions that are made that just feel…at the drop of the hat. No explanation needed, lets just do this! I also had a real problem with characters just randomly switching sides in this whole thing for no reason other than they were told to. I was getting whiplash every so often because people just kept changing and then changing back and then changing back again. Part of it was because of the whole mind control part. Yet that wasn’t all of it. A lot of it was just because it wasn’t made clear because of lack of proper groundwork.
This was actually a reread, I’ve read the first half of this series before and I would like to finish it up now. I’m not as enthralled with it this time around. Before, the emotional aspects of the story got me and kept me hanging on. Now, without those emotional bindings, I’m having a harder time keeping myself interested. We’ll see how the rest of the read goes.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the The Elemental series page!