Title: Wings Unseen
Author: Rebecca Gomez Farrell
Genre: Fantasy, Teen
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
This book really surprised me. I went in expecting a cool fantasy setting (and yes it's as good as the blurb makes it sound), some different magic and a really annoying love triangle. I was partially right, and partially wrong.
The Not-So Love, Love Triangle
So let's deal with the 'three-headed' love triangle first. Is there a love triangle... not really. There are three people who are caught up in each others lives in some unlikely ways and there is some jealousy that happens at some points but it's not like a cat fight over the lead man. Nor is it a caddy fight between the two girls. Instead it's just progression of friendship, possible love and how tough circumstances create unbreakable bonds.
The Overall Feel
The three perspectives (two gals, one guy) are all equal and none of them feels like a more important character than the other. Kudos to Rebecca Gomez Farrell for pulling this off. It's a hard feat to have equal standing characters in the lead. The magic is really cool. I love how sparse and yet how important it is. The 'enemy' is subjective and yet obvious all at the same time. The politics are brilliant and I adore our lead man's father who accepts that while he never wanted to be King it was his duty. This solid political base that the world is built around is part of what gives Wings Unseen it's unique feel.
Of course my favourite character of the three is the morally questionable Vespiri (and she has a snake as her icon!). But don't worry the other two main characters, Jantos and Serra, bring in more than enough sweet, moral, hero traits to make up for any pitfalls Vespiri may have. Additionally they all have real personalities and real faults. Just like real people. I can't emphasis enough how REAL they all felt to me at times. I started wanting to savour this book at the halfway point. Something I rarely do these days.
Now, what's the best part about Wings Unseen?
It's a STAND ALONE fantasy book!
That's not to say that it might have future books; but you can easily read Wings Unseen and have enough closure to feel satisfied. I'd love to see future books (and it's unclear to me if it's going to be a series or not...) but it's also so rare to find stand-alone fantasy novels that I almost want to relish in it's uniqueness this way.
Could I find faults in this novel?
Of course. But honestly I feel this is a stronger debut than Gilded Cage and I really enjoyed it and gave it four stars. Wings Unseen doesn't have the same plot holes or unexplained circumstances the way a lot of my 4 star fantasy books have had this year and so I've given it 5 stars because I'd happily read it again... is tomorrow too soon?!
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.