Since I picked up Wave Rider , I thought I should read the freebie The Rising Wave since they must be related. Full disclosure: I do not read any of Michelle Diener's book blurbs. She is an automatic read for me. I prefer to go into her books completely cold and go along the magical journey she creates. Needless to say, this sometimes backfires when I cross series unintentionally. This novella has zero to do with the Verdant String series. It is a completely different series and now I'm hooked on this one too. *shakes fist up in the air at the author* Now I must read this new series that is just starting. Of course, I devoured the books and want to read more.
In this novella, it starts out grim with Ava locked in a dungeon to be possibly murdered. Turns out, Ava is a princess and her aunt is the Queen. Does her aunt even know that she is in the dungeon? Does her aunt know what is being done in her name? As with all Ms. Diener's books, the initial first couple of chapters are hard on me. Hard because I am completely disoriented and not sure what is going on. There is absolutely zero foreplay in her writing style. We are immediately in some dire situation and I don't know who is who or what is going on. Some of this may be, because I don't read the book blurb. But even when I read the first few pages, get confused and go look up the book blurb, I'm still a bit disoriented. For readers who don't like this feeling, get over it. It is worth sticking through the first couple of chapters of disorientation. For those who like to be caught off guard and surprised in a pretty predictable book genre, this will be a delightful treat.
I loved the characters in this story. I specifically loved Ava and her determination. Her meeting of Luc is pure serendipity and is fantastic. The two characters are strong. They have very decided morale and ethics. They also have a passion to right what is wrong. I love these kind of inspiring characters. This story moves at a pretty fast pace yet it is intense with vivid imagery and details. As soon as I read this freebie, I immediately went to look for the first book in this exciting new series. This novella is highly recommended to high fantasy readers who love great world building and strong character development.