Thursday, March 31, 2016

Splintered Fate: Aorra Series by Yelena Lugin

I have been given the pleasure to read and review a book by someone I am very proud to call my friend. I met Yelena Lugin through the wonderful world of Goodreads while reading The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. We have bonded over our love for books and dreams for our futures. When she told me that she wanted to send me a copy of Splintered Fate for my 21st* birthday, I was honored. I knew I would like it due to our similar tastes in books, but little did I know that I would soon be reading a book that would evoke such strong emotions in me. You will find some minor spoilers from here on out.



*Ignore the fact that it says 25th birthday, please.
Plot

Splintered Fate is about a world that is torn in half between the Madonians and the Ramis. The Madonians are a race of people who can use the powers inside of them to make something out of nothing, and some have an Aorra, a spirit animal who shares a mental connection with their human counterpart. The Rami are a race that have an electric current running through them that they can use as a weapon. The biggest difference between the two is the Madonians can control their powers to make things, while the Rami have less control over theirs.

The story focuses around 2 characters, Lana Casteel, a Madonian, and Kaiden, a Rami. The two met when they were young at Ucu, but have not seen each other since their time there. When war breaks out between the two races, Lana and Kaiden are brought back together in hopes of saving their world. But can Lana trust Kaiden?

Lana and Kaiden, along with Donn and his grandchildren, and Lana's Aorra, Ardin, go on a journey after the saddening death of Lana's father during battle. Their goal is to get to Alogrin, which most people believe to be just a myth, but Donn says is a real place and has been there before.

Important Places

Ucu: A school on one of the moons where Madonian and Rami children can go to learn how to control their powers.

Abder: The land that Lana is from.

Alogrin: A land where Madonians and Ramis live in peace; thought to be a mythical land to most people.

Gorthyn: The land where Lana's mother was murdered.

Characters

Lana Casteel: The main protagonist of the story, she is a Councilwoman for Abder. Lana's mother, Eveline, was brutally murdered by Rami soldiers when Lana was young. Although Lana does not like the Rami's, she does not have the same outright hatred for them that other Madonians do. She is a very strong, independent young woman who just wants peace for her people.

Adrin: A white wolf, he is Lana's Aorra and best friend. He is quippy, but his love for Lana is 100% pure, he lives solely to protect her and he proves himself multiple times throughout the book.

Kirill Dukran: He is a Madonian, although he does not have an Aorra. In childhood, he was besties with Lana, but then she went to Ucu and became peaceful and he decided that killing Rami was the greatest way to spend his days and she grew to resent him. He starts out as a huge jerk, but when he makes a reappearance in the second half of the book, we learn about his evil past and I developed a small crush on him.

Arkhip Durkan: Kirill's father and told douche. I'll save you time, we hate him. 

Valdor Casteel: Lana's father who sadly dies early in the book which spurs Lana to find help.

Donn: A mysterious old man who has a lot of wisdom that he likes to share, as long as you can read between the lines. He is also the grandfather to Nadina and Alex.

Nadina: A young girl who Lana meets and eventually joins Lana on her trip. She has a fox Aorra named Nila.

Alex: Nadina's younger brother who also joins Lana on her journey. He does not have an Aorra, but he can make wood with his energy, which end up being an asset.

Kaiden: An orphaned Rami, he saves Lana's life when his brother is torturing her. By doing this, he makes himself an enemy of Rami's. He, unlike other Rami, can control the energy running through him, which makes him an important ally to Lana.

Garin: Kaiden's brother and a Lieutenant General for the Rami army. He attempts to take Lana's life, and in doing so, becomes Undesirable #1.

Bredin: An Alogrinian isn't exactly pro-Lana, although he ends up being a vital character in Lana's attack against Garin and his soldiers.

Clyte: A Rami who moved to Alogrin an unknown amount of type again. In Rami, she was a powerful warrior, but in Alogrin, she is a Councilperson who befriends Lana.

Cale: An Alogrinian who does not want to help Lana because he does not want to put his people in danger. He always has a chip on his shoulder.

Zorin: An amazing swordsman, teacher, and descendant of the great kings of Alogrin, he follows Lana into battle. His wife is Aria.

Tor/Victor: A silent man who does not have much interaction with Lana, but agrees to fight with her. We learn that he was one of the protectors of Lana's mother, Eveline, and almost died the day she did.

What I Liked

-Lana's indepence is so important. The world needs more books with strong female role models.
-The love story between Lana and Kaiden did not feel forced or predictable, it was extremely organic.
-All of the characters have a unique personality.
-It is unlike any story I have read before. The plot is 100% original.

What I Didn't Like

-Sometimes I feel like Lana takes advantage of Ardin. It is clear that he does everything with her first in mind and she can be selfish.
-I wish more sections were told from the POV of Kaiden.
-The next book doesn't come out for 2 more months!


The world the Lugin has created is incredibly interesting and it pulls you in from the very beginning. She does a brilliant job of introducing you to this new world and makes sure that you understand all of the new terms. There is never a dull moment. I spent the entire book falling in love with all of the characters, but wondering which characters would break my heart by either betrayal or death. The last chapter broke my heart and had me in tears, and the epilogue left me with my mouth hanging open. 



I am so glad that this book made it's way into my life because it is everything that a good book needs to be. The world needs more books like this. 

Rating: 10/10
Pages: 258 (paperback)
Number of Book in Series: 1 as of date; an expected 3-4 total
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult
Should You Read Is?: Yes, go buy it right now! I'm 100% serious!

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