Review + Giveaway: All’s Fair in Vanities War by Elizabeth Marx
Title: All’s Fair in Vanities War
Author: Elizabeth Marx
Series: The Seer’s Seven Deadly Fairy Tales 1
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Pub. Year: 2011
Purchase: Amazon/ B &N /Smashwords
I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb from Amazon:
Salem’s always had sinister secrets. No one comes to understand this better than a sixteen-year-old girl who dies on Halloween night and is reborn a Seer.
The Seer can’t imagine anything worse than being an invisible teenager with enormous black wings. Until she finds out she’s been sacrificed to watch over Locke’s new flame.
Locke Cavanaugh is a Druid and part of the Order, a clandestine organization entrusted with keeping its members cloaked in the Ordinary world. Physically scarred from the accident that took his girlfriend’s life, Locke is searching for the OtherWorldly magic that damaged him because only those without blemish can rule the Order. And once at the helm of the Order, he has every intention of finding those responsible for her death.
On the West Coast, Keleigh Flaherty witnesses her parents’ murder by beasts that should only exist in nightmares. She is whisked off to the safety of Salem, where she learns how potent and dangerous her concealed Vate talents are. Keleigh wants to be Ordinary, but when her mother reaches out from the OtherWorld, and implores her to find a forgotten relic she’ll have to use all her ExtraOrdinary powers to locate it.
As Locke and Keleigh join forces, they unravel the Order’s involvement in the witch hysteria and murmurs of a Celtic prophecy. While Locke’s affection for Keleigh blooms, The Seer is torn between her duty to protect Keleigh, and her desire to stop Locke from making the ultimate sacrifice in order to earn Keleigh’s love . . .
But if they don’t find the witches bottle before the ShiningOnes do, someone stalking Keleigh from the shadows will take her instead and plunge all worlds into chaos.
Cover Love: Amazing inversion of dresses
I totally love this book even though I had to re-read certain scenes to understand what was going on. Especially in the beginning. That being said, it was a really great read.
I usually do characters first because there is a necessity in knowing who drives the story forward but the most important thing about this novel (at least for me) was the mythology. Did I learn a lot about Celtic mythology and then some. One of the shocking factors for me was the use of the witch bottle. Witch bottles are created by people who want to drive away a witch that is afflicting them and it basically causes the witch pain until the spell is taken away but I had no idea that a witch bottle could be used as a love spell. What the hell, that is totally new to me. The witches bottle become a very important part of this novel. The Celtic mythology consisted of hellhounds, banshees, druids, seers, leprechaun, fairies, boggarts, Boudicca, and learning stories about the goddess Fir (resembles mother nature) and multiple other deities. Plus, we have three Wyrd Sisters ( Maiden, Mother, Crone). It was fascinating to read the stories and see the Gaelic names of mythological creatures. I love the inclusion of Cerunnos. Really funny situation about his horns being stolen.
Now let’s talk characters. At first, I was really annoyed with all the characters because they were all very concerned with physical appearances. The Seer who died and records events; when she dies, she is more concerned about throwing up on her dress than being dead. Although, she did admit she was vain enough to say that so she was okay. We have Keleigh who has this enchanted necklace that hides what I will is her true beauty. She promised her mother that she wouldn’t take it off ever and constantly shies away from her own beauty. There is Locke who is physically scarred by the accident that killed the Seer. He tries to get Keleigh to take off the necklace and she reminds him of his scars. There was so much emphasis in the first 20 pages about physical appearances that it irked me.
However, at the end of the day, it was interesting to see the characters move beyond this stage and watch them mature. The vanity of appearance play a real strong role in the final battle and is really insightful. What appears to be annoying characteristic is actually an in-depth look. The scars that Locke has are important for a reason.I really liked how the Seer eloquently put things in perspective as well as Madi (who is Keleigh’s best friend). Funniest character ever. The romance between Keleigh and Locke slowly developed. Keleigh was the one denying the attraction because she didn’t accept her ExtraOrdinary powers and just wanted to be Ordinary (without powers). All of a sudden she is drag into the world she has been vehemently trying to avoid. It forces her to see what she is, the daughter of a prophetess and someone who has power in her own right. The love triangle between Locke, Keleigh, and Lynx for me fell a little flat on Lynx’s side simply because Keleigh wasn’t really into him. She was constantly moving away from his touches even though they were in open relationship. It was much interesting to read the blossoming relationship between Locked and Keleigh.
Marx did an excellent job in creating a world that is infused with mythology. We have Ordinary, regular people without powers, and ExtraOrdinary, people with powers. Leylines run all over Salem which act power sources for Extraordinary. Colloquy of Elders that keeps the existence of the ExtraOrdinaries a secret. ShiningOnes which apparently as not as nice as their name sounds. The OtherWorld which is a parallel world where mythology’s creature live. I know, it seems like a lot to take in (and it is) but I swear, it only adds to the experience of reading the book. All the “societies” are distinct from each other so it’s not hard to keep track of.
In the end, I’m giving it 4.5 butterflies. Fantastic use of mythology and great world-building skills. The characters are funny and grow in the course of the book. The love triangle didn’t work for me but it was somewhat nice. I’m looking forward to reading the second books because there are some unanswered questions that need to be resolve. Plus, I want to see Keleigh come into full acceptance of her powers and see what she can do.
15th book in 150+ Reading Challenge:
Also qualifies for: Self-published, E-book, YA Mythology, First in a Series, Cupcake War, Where are you reading?-Salem, Massachussets
Giveaway Time: International and ends on Feb. 25 at 11:59 PM
Elizabeth has kindly offered to give away an e-book copy of this book to a lucky commenter.
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