Review: The Battle Sylph by L. J. McDonald


The Battle Sylph by L. J. McDonald
Sylph Trilogy, Book 1
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
Published: February 23, 2010 by Leisure Books 
ISBN: 978-0843963007
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.

My Ramblings:

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.

My Rating: Really Liked it

Places you can find L. J.: Web Site | Blog

The Sylph Trilogy:

  1. The Battle Sylph
  2. The Shattered Sylph – March 30, 2010
  3. The Queen of the Sylphs – November 2010

Other Ramblings:


Has said...

I loved this book and I agree the characters made it alive. I think the author had a great way and approach to make established/or even cliched tropes different. You think it would end in a way you expected but it didn't.

I think the dialogue didn't affect me as much - I read Tamora Pierce and Anne Bishop and they both have had similar styles with dialogue. I think fantasy worlds have more leeway even though they may appear medieval in appearence.
I cannot wait for the next book - Ril's ending is heartbreaking and it does look like his heroine is going to go through a tough time.

Donna said...

Normally the dialogue slips don't bother me and they didn't kill this story for me but I was aware of them more so than I have been in other books.

I agree McDonald is an author to watch, she got an imagination I like. I plan on checking out Ril's story. :)

WonderBunny said...

Great review! I have never heard of this book it looks like it needs to be added to the list of books to read. Thanks!

Donna said...

Ruthann - Thanks! If you enjoy reading fantasy, this is definitely one to check out.

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I haven't heard of the book or the author before. It sounds like an interesting read. I hate it when the dialogue gets in the way of the story though-that happens a lot in historical romances.

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I haven't heard of the book or the author before. It sounds like an interesting read. I hate it when the dialogue gets in the way of the story though-that happens a lot in historical romances.

Chris said...

I definitely give fantasy more leeway, but sometimes there are just those things that jolt you out of the story and then you can't un-notice them. :)

Leontine said...

I'm pining for this release since I heard about it late last year and I'm hearing good things about it :) Thanks for your review Donna, it definitely added to the "must have now" vibe!

Blodeuedd said...

Hi Donna,
It looks and sounds cool :D

But yet I get your point, it is like when I am reading a historical novel and suddenly the author uses a really modern word and I am like..ok no. In other books I can forgive it

Donna said...

Colette - The Battle Sylph was an interesting read. Even though I noticed the dialogue, I still enjoyed the story.

Chris - I'll notice dialogue that you normally wouldn't read in certain time periods every now and again. Even though I noticed in this book, it's not a real show stopper since the fantasy world is what you make it. I think author intended it.

Leontine - I think you'll like this one. I hope you give it a try.

Blodeuedd - I think the modern slang in a historical would bother me a whole lot more than it would in a fantasy. I can overlook it in a fantasy.

Unknown said...

Awesome review! This looks so interesting! will be added to my TBR =)))


VampFanGirl said...

Hmmm...I'm not sure if this is my kind of read...but thanks for the great review and recommendation, Donna! I'll keep this one on the back burner for the time being.

:) VFG

Erotic Horizon said...

Donna know how much I am looking forward to this book...

I am glad it worked for you...


Smokinhotbooks said...

Hey Donna does this read more like fantasy or romantic sci-fi fantasy?

Donna said...

Larissa - Thanks! :)

EH - I thought of you while reading this one. I hope you give a try.

KC - This story leans more towards the romantic fantasy but the story surrounds the romance and the romance isn't always the main focus throughout it.

Tricia said...

I enjoyed the review Donna. I'm definitely going to try this one.

Donna said...

Tricia - Thanks! I hope you enjoy it. :)

Unknown said...

Hi Donna!

Another to put on my list, sounds excellent! I haven't read something like this in a while. Thanks for a great review!

Dottie :)

Donna said...

Dottie - The Battle Sylph was a pretty good read. I'd like to see what is going to happen next for sure. Thanks!!

Unknown said...

Nice review Donna -
I finally read my first urban fantasy while away in England... can you believe it?
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Well at least I can live vicariously through you.

Donna said...

Shellie - Cool! I haven't read Soulless myself yet but I have it sitting on my tbr. Did you like Soulless?

Unknown said...

Yes I did.. it was fun and funny a good break from some heavy reading. It will be interesting to see what you think about it since you read a lot of UF.
I should have a review posted soon.:)

Donna said...

Shellie - I'll be on the look out for it then. :)

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