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Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: Balkan Magic

Title: Balkan Magic       
Author: Emigh Cannaday
Publication Date: 
 November 10, 2010
Reviewer: Elisa

Summary: Free-spirited Annika Brisby has just turned down a proposal that promises a lifetime of security but no adventure. Seeking some distance between herself and her ex-boyfriend, Annika travels to the Balkan Mountains. A day hike gone to havoc sends her through a broken portal to another world. She is discovered by wood nymphs who seem convinced that Annika's presence is more than just chance, and they vow to get her back home with the help of a slightly debauched elf named Talvi. Unnerved at his advances, Annika makes the best of her situation by learning all she can about this dream-like new world. But the more she gets to know the genuine Talvi, the more she wonders if there's a path leading them toward each other. Together they sail over a monster-filled sea, navigate through a forest of flesh eating trees, and encounter a family of trolls, but the greatest obstacle will be Annika's ability to trust her new friends and confront her deepest fears. (
Review: This book took me a little work to get into it, but once Annika meets Talvi at the bookstore and then once she is finally sucked into the portal the adventure truly begins and I was hooked.  Annika is stuck in this other world, the portals have been closed and they are going to figure out why.  She finds out she is stuck between two worlds in more ways than one which answers why she never felt she fit in at school.  She is stuck in a faery world and does quite well over there.  But if she had to choose for any reason, which world would she pick?
There is a romance as Annika really starts falling for Talvi, but she doesn’t know if she can trust him or if he is playing her.  Not that she wants to be serious, they are from two different worlds and she is free-spirited and all.  But she certainly gets her panties in a bunch when he looks like he is flirting with others!  And then we get a little love triangle junk.  That is ok, except then we get a lot of stomping around, yelling fights and jealousies.  Talvi just turned 300, but man is he a baby!  It felt like we were in high school for a while.  But nothing ever goes too far or too wrong.  I think basically because so many things had to happen in this book that things kept moving.
There is a prophecy, some fighting and lots of loving (when they aren’t fighting).  I loved the trolls and how we got to read more about fixing up their house than the big fight at the end…but hey, it was my favorite part of the story.
So, I thought this was an enjoyable fantasy adventure story.  It is filled with all sorts of creatures, sirens, trolls, unicorns and wood nymphs and I wouldn’t mind trying the pixie dust or fairy brandy!  I think it got a little too involved in random details and tangents which made the story a little bloated.  But, it helped delve into the characters with a show not tell vibe.  And I knew without a doubt that it got to me when I reached the end and wanted to continue reading to know “what happens NOW”!?  So the story had issues, but it was enjoyable and creative and had a lot going on.  I give it 3.5 stars and can’t wait to read the sequel.    

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