My first impression of Protector (Anniversary of the Veil, Book 1) by Vanna Smythe, was that of a novel which is smooth, consistent and well structured- resulting in a good, easy flow.
Smythe has presented her readers with a fairly long prologue, but it does instantly put you in the middle of the fantastical world Smythe has created. It is full of intrigue but plenty of attention to detail to give the reader a wide view of the location the novel is set in. Smythe does have a knack for depicting landscapes throughout her work, described as both beautiful and desolate at the same time, with complete clarity and a refreshing tone.
Moving on I found the events of the novel interesting, the pace again is consistent and enjoyably fast, but I also felt that Smythe’s work was lacking in its ability to not only grab my attention but also hold it. However readers please do stick with it, as it does get better! By chapter 20 I found, for the most part, each character had come into their own and my attention was fully grasped and it didn’t let go until the final chapter closed.
In her writing of High Priest Rhaldan, the priest’s role and beliefs often get lost as Smythe concentrates heavily on effectively conveying a more sinister side of Rhaldan. This isn’t to say Rhaldan isn’t supposed to be filling this sinister role- but more that when in one paragraph Rhaldan plots hero Kae’s murder, yet in a following paragraph the reader is privy to Rhaldan’s inner reasoning of protecting the Kingdom and the “greater good”.
With so many factions within factions I found it difficult to pin point which side of the Veil I should have been rooting for. That being said I enjoyed the development of Kae and Issa’s relationship, the intensity and pace was pitched perfectly amongst the unfolding events.
Overall Protector (Anniversary of the Veil, Book 1) was an enjoyable, laid back read. The action was exciting; the story was interesting and the romance both sweet and believable. I have high hopes that subsequent novels within this saga will prove to be more developed, more intriguing and explain further this ‘Life force’ which is a driving factor throughout the story. Anyone who enjoys fantasy fiction or young adult romance should give this book a try.
© Gemma Feltham 3rd December 2013