Friday, April 7, 2017

The Heart of Hannen by Fawn Bonning

Discretion advised: This book may be unsuitable for anyone under the age of 18, due to mature themes, language and sexual content.
Series: The Atriian Trilogy
Publication Date: Mar 2014
Publisher: Self Published
Age Group: 18+
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 522
Format: ePub
Source: Review Copy
Buy the Book: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Christine, a troubled teen with a dark past, is miserable in her small town. Shadowed in shame, she feels destined to live her lonely life as an outcast. She has no idea that her true destiny lies in a different town, in a different world; a most brutal world called Atriia. There she learns the true meaning of misery, the true meaning of loneliness, the true meaning of shame. But she also learns that her bravery is boundless as she battles against a formidable foe, a dark shadow that tries to smother the land. And in the arms of a most unlikely candidate, she also learns the true meaning of love.
He is Hannen Fallier, the one they call the foul fraigen dropper, revered by men for his fearless feats, but looked upon by women with open disdain. With a face horribly mauled, he hides behind a mask of shame, deeming himself unworthy of love. That he would seek acceptance from Christine is irony in its purest form. That he would seek her love . . . the ultimate betrayal.

On many occasions, I've admitted that I definitely judge books by their covers. This one was no different, in fact, I almost turned down the review because of the cover. Sure, the cover matches the descriptions of two of the characters very well, but it's just not very well done.

I also believe that this book should have probably included a trigger warning for those who have been affected by rape. Although there are no rape scenes directly in the book, Christine, the main character does experience flash backs of almost being a victim, along with other volatile emotions related to the event.

The book is well written and most of the characters seem well-planned. There are a few characters who seem a bit contrived or that could have been cut- they appeared to serve a single purpose (though other more fleshed out characters could have filled those rolls) then were only mentioned in passing or simply disappeared.

There are so many twists and turns in this book, none of them the twist or turn you expected it to be. Many of them left me with more questions than answers. In fact, I'm still trying to figure out some of those questions. Many times, there are clues and hints dropped about what is going on, what happened before Christine arrived in Atriia, and what is going to happen later, but following those clues are almost guaranteed to intentionally lead you to the wrong conclusion.

One thing that was a little off-putting was the language of the Atriians. The author even points out that it's 95% English, though I think that was the problem I faced. Because of its similarities to English, reading Tolkien's Quenya (aka Elvish) or Lovecraft's R'lyehian is actually easier for me. But that might just be me, even with real languages, I more easily learn those that are far removed from English. So don't let the Atriian language stop you from reading this book, I didn't!

While this read won't find its way to my favorites shelf, I did enjoy reading it and look forward to reading the other two books of the trilogy.

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