Title – The Sapphire Legend Part 1
Author – E.L Tenenbaum
Genre – YA Fantasy
I received a free copy from the author in exchange of an honest review – via Rose Amber’s Book Review team.
Sapere has always been different. In her tribe, select families are blessed with a gift that is passed through the generations from father to son. But something went wrong when Sapere was born, because she has her family’s gift and she shouldn’t.
When Saphere’s village is attacked the night of her wedding, the survivors flee to the Wild in hopes of finding refuge in a dangerous place stalked by deadly predators. There they struggle to protect what little remains of their tribe and their traditions, many of which don’t seem to fit into their new life. Out here, Sapere feels like an outsider on the precipice of two worlds unable to fit into the old way, unaccepted by the new, and terrified of being shunned by both.
Through the survivors’ fight for survival, Sapere learns that she can be a victim of circumstances or master of fate. Can she rise above the nature of her birth and mold her own future? Can she be herself and earn the villagers’ respect? Or will she forever be shackled by the anomaly that makes her different?
I loved the cover of the book and the title was intriguing. I also felt like trying something a bit different to the standard fantasy format. This world of tribal life was just what I was looking for.
The first few chapters are read with anticaption as you know from the blurb that something terrible is about to happen. But the author allows you to get to know the main character, Sapere and understand her situation before throwing her life into turmoil. I like how the tribal world and their beliefs are put across. There is no info dump, you learn as you go along.
Sapere was a good main character in a difficult situation. At points I did find her a little naïve with regards to the other characters feelings, but overall I really liked her. I liked the supporting cast of Reo and Venatore and wanted them all to find happiness after everything they had been through.
It is very unusual for me to read a book in first person present tense. It worked well for this story and I really enjoyed the change of style.
Issues with the book
The only fault I could point out with this book would be the description of some of the animals in the Wild. They sounded suspiciously like snakes and elephants. I understand that the characters may not have known the animal names, but it seemed unlikely and pulled me out of the story. As I read these passages, I was reminded of a famous piece of writing advice, though I’ve no idea who said it. ‘If it looks and sounds like a rabbit, call it a rabbit.’ Or something along those lines.
Although at points I thought the story might be a bit too small and insular, I really came to love the world the author created. I couldn’t believe the story ended where it did and was desperate to find out more. I’ve already bought the second book and look forward to reading and reviewing it in the future.
I would happily recommend this to those who enjoy YA Fantasy and fantasy in general.
Rating: 5 stars (for a while it was a 4 star book, but it certainly grew on me and by the end it was definitely a 5 star read).