Series review: The Tainted Accords by Kelly St Clare

piranha stars turquoise 4

A great world and a kickass heroine – my favourite!

About the series:

The veil I’ve worn from birth carries with it a terrible loneliness; a suppression I cannot imagine ever being free of.

Some things never change…

 My mother will always hate me. Her court will always shun me. And hidden behind this material, will never know why.

 …Until they do.

When the peace delegation arrives from the savage world of Glacium, my life is shoved wildly out of control by the handsome Prince Kedrick, who for unfathomable reasons shows her kindness.

And the harshest lessons are learned.

 Sometimes it takes the world bringing you to your knees to find that spark you thought forever lost.

Sometimes it takes death to show you how to live.

Kelly St Clare's Tainted Accords series

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Review by Katy Haye:

Well, you might say we’re having a bit of a love-in of Kelly St Clare’s work at the Paisley Piranha right now. And I’d say, Whatever’s the problem with that?! I adored The Retreat and can’t wait for The Return. But while I’m waiting, her Tainted Accords series filled the time beautifully.

Fantasy of Frost

I’ll be honest, this started confusingly for me. There were two worlds, Osolis and Glacium, and also two peoples, Solati and Bruma – and to this day I still can’t figure out how the rotations actually work.

BUT, stick with it. The writing is FABULOUS. I got right under Olina’s skin, and she might be oppressed by her horrible mother, but she’s a kickass heroine all the same. The writing was lovely, understated and layered. I loved the characters and the world and wanted more.

Fantasy of Flight

I got more in Fantasy of Flight. Olina improved, if that were even possible, when she took on her fighting persona of Frost. I wasn’t entirely convinced that Olina/Frost would have run away … again – but I’ll forgive her and Kelly given the fabulous twist that ensues. This provided a gripping, dramatic ending that carried me straight into the next in the series.

Fantasy of Fire

I’m starting to think there may be something about penultimate series books. Like Elementals (reviewed last week), I found this flagged a little. There was a bit of a memory dump at the beginning, which admittedly works as a good reminder of the story so far for anyone who had to wait to read this one, but it did slow the action. And I was slightly confused – was it me, or did Olina reveal her secret to the same people twice?

However, the finale was superb, and made up for all my earlier grumbles!

Fantasy of Freedom

To start with, I thought Olina had become a bit stereotypically “girly” and over-reliant on Jovan. Admittedly, she had been seriously wounded (I know, I’m so unsympathetic to characters – lost your arm/leg/brother/home – huh, toughen up!), but she came across as weak and a bit of a cry-baby, which didn’t fit with the Olina I knew, and undermined her strength as a ruler.

However, once I got past the first couple of chapters … crikey was this a stonking end to the series! Excellent twists and turns as long-held secrets were revealed. And the pace was frantic and unrelenting, dragging me towards and then through a final battle to discover whether peace could finally dawn over three worlds.

If you love fantasy and heroines who can hold their own, this is highly recommended.

Katy Haye is reading her way through the alphabet during the first half of 2017. Check in next week for her review of her “G” read: The Goldfish Boy. When not reading, she writes speculative fiction for YA readers. Her new release, Discord, is now available.

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