Storm Siren by Mary Weber is the start to what promises to be an amazing epic fantasy series with multiple magic systems, complex politics, and a very troubled main character. I absolutely loved finding out about Nym’s power and the horrible past it has brought to her as she was passed from slave owner to slave owner. Nym is a very broken character, but that hasn’t numbed her to the horror of death and I absolutely loved that she learned to be a kick ass heroine, but still never wanted to kill if she didn’t have to. Storm Siren sounds typical on the surface, but there are so many details where it excels and I think it will appeal to both YA fantasy fans and adult epic fantasy lovers.
Note: I received an advanced copy of Storm Siren from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Storm Siren by Mary Weber (Storm Siren #1)
Published by Thomas Nelson on Aug. 19th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”
In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.
As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.
Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.
Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.
But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?
- The magic in Storm Siren is absolutely awesome. Nym is an Elemental and has power over storms, but that isn’t the only kind of magic to be found in the land and nearly every region has their own breed of magic, some more nature-based, some very dark, and some with their own interesting twists. If you love magic as much as I do, you won’t be able to put Storm Siren down!
- Storm Siren does a wonderful job of having a diverse range of characters without making them feel forced. Nym’s trainer is described as having extremely dark skin, her servant and friend is blind, and Nym herself has a permanently disabled hand. These various traits didn’t define any character though, which is exactly how diversity should be included in stories.
- I absolutely loved Nym. She’s a bit abrasive and definitely broken given how many people she has accidentally killed when her power over storms makes her lose control. However, she also dearly values life and never becomes completely comfortable or nonchalant about killing even animals if she has any choice. This specific characteristic makes her feel exceedingly realistic and refreshing compared to the many heroines we’re faced with that seem to no longer care about human life because they are so “tough.”
- Storm Siren could have easily become bogged down with world-building given the complex politics, history, and magic in the world. However, instead Storm Siren succeeds at dropping tantalizing hints that just make you want to learn more. I will be reading the sequel the second I can get my hands on it because I can’t wait to explore more of Nym’s world.
- The writing of Storm Siren is heart-breaking. Nym faces a lot of trials and I was sobbing right along with her by the end because her thoughts were so beautifully conveyed.
- While I appreciated the inclusion of a main character with a disability, it is pretty unclear exactly what happened and how much function Nym has of her damaged hand, despite it being mentioned constantly. At times it felt like her hand was only mentioned when convenient and she was able to do everything she needed to do. I also couldn’t really get an idea of what her hand looked like despite how often it was mentioned, which meant I couldn’t fully visualize Nym herself.
- The politics of Storm Siren were generally quite interesting, but the number of important secondary characters got to the point where I couldn’t quite keep everyone straight. Normally I wouldn’t particularly mind, but it became pretty important for me to remember the information we had found out about each secondary character once the back-stabbing started!
Storm Siren is a wonderful start to a new epic fantasy series that I highly recommend for both YA fans and epic fantasy adult readers who generally don’t read YA fantasy. The world-building was just intriguing enough to keep me hooked without overwhelming me at all. I also found myself actually interested in court politics because of how much they mattered for Nym’s life and the stability of her world. I hope a couple of things get more polished as the series continues, but overall I will definitely be pre-ordering a hardcover of this one and pushing it on all my friends who love fantasy as much as I do ;-).
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Storm Siren by Mary Weber
© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.