The Battle Sylph by L. J. McDonald
Sylph Trilogy, Book 1
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
Published: February 23, 2010 by Leisure Books
Received From: Publisher
In a world where Elemental Sylphs are used for slave labour, Solie thought her biggest problem in life was avoiding an arranged marriage with an older man. That is, until she finds herself kidnapped for use as a human sacrifice in the luring and binding of a Battler, the most dangerous kind of Sylph there is. Terrified but determined not to die, Solie fights back and finds herself suddenly the master of an immensely powerful, shape-changing creature who can take on any form she wishes.
Heyou, however, isn't the only Battle Sylph around, and the two of them are forced to run, pursued by men determined to destroy them both. With no other options left to her, Solie flees with her newfound allies to the only source of sanctuary left to them, but death is tracking them down and Heyou is filling her with desires that threaten to change the world.
The Battle Sylph was a unique read for me and yet at the same time it wasn't. There were elements that seemed familiar such as the summoning of the battle sylph by luring them from another world with a virginal maiden. Once summoned, the battle sylph is bonded and compelled by these bindings to obey their master's every command. This scenario I have seen several times but what makes it unique are the characters and where the story goes from time you start reading and finish it. The world building was terrific and I never once felt bogged down trying figure out or remember the different elements created for this story.
While reading I experienced feel-good moments, a bit of humor, a lot of excitement and some sad, heart rendering scenes. This is definitely a story that gets to you on an emotional level as you follow not just fiery Solie and her randy, battle sylph Heyou but other engaging characters, whose journeys end up entwined with each other. I also like that this story was told from the different characters' point of views throughout. This story leans more towards romantic fantasy but the story surrounds the romance and the romance isn't always the main focus throughout it.
There is one little thing that kept niggling me, it was the dialogue. The story's setting is in time that was obviously long ago but the dialogue had some modern day speak in it. I'm not saying this a bad thing but while I was reading along, every now and again, a phrase would pop up and it kind of threw my rhythm in the story. It gave the story a bit of a an odd edge but didn't take away from my enjoyment.
I think The Battle Sylph was a great beginning to the Sylph trilogy. It was a fast paced, imaginative story that ended on a satisfying note but hints of things to come and few side stories that I would love to see closure on.
The Sylph Trilogy:
- The Battle Sylph
- The Shattered Sylph – March 30, 2010
- The Queen of the Sylphs – November 2010