Quick Paced Sequel... Book Tour with Giveaway!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Rowan Wood Legends by Olivia Wildenstein a book review on Reading List

Fantasy books are the perfect choice for when you want adventure that takes you far away from reality. They allow you leave behind whatever in your life might be stressing you out, or causing anxiety, and as a result you can calm your own nerves.

So what happens when you get tired of the over the top story lines of fantasy, and want a story that is full of adventure like fantasies, but is grounded in the world you already know?  A fantasy that will slowly pull you into the magical worlds while still keeping one foot firmly in reality?

Well, I know there are a couple of popular fantasy options out there for this concept, and today, I'd like to share another, new option...


Rowan Wood Legends by Olivia Wildenstein a book review on Reading List




***Fair Warning, there will probably be some spoilers for Rose Petal Graves in this book review/discussion as it is the first book in the series - please consider checking out that review if you are interested... or if you don't mind some minor spoilers... read on. ***



Rowan Wood Legends

Olivia Wildenstein




Story Overview 


This second book of the Lost Clan series starts right where Rose Petal Graves left off... and at full speed. So please consider reading these in order. Granted Olivia Wildenstein does a great job of filling in the major details, as well as providing extras to help with the different languages and large list of characters that are part of the story. 

Catori Price is focused first on keeping her father safe now that faeries and hunters are becoming more and more of a daily nuisance for her.  She cannot decide which half of her blood line she will pick. As a result both groups are showing up and trying to convince her to act for them.

Kajika is struggling to find his way in this familiar yet different world and the memories that Blake left with him only make the process more complicated. As he tries to find his way, he often clashes with Catori over how to proceed, and that only complicates her opinions on which blood line to follow. 

Ace & Cruz show up again and again with only minor bits of information to assist Catori - leaving her more and more confused about how the fae world even works. 

More than anything, Catori knows that a war is beginning and if she doesn't pick a side there is no guarantee her friends and family will survive it. 

Personal Likes

I am loving the foundation of the Gottwa people lie in Native American traditions - I know that this is a sort spot in some of the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. But this is a fantasy book, so I prefer the fact that this isn't an actual Native American tribe, but clearly was influenced by tribes.

The fact that Catori's focus always goes back to her family and friends - her life before the story begins- sets up a solid character basis, and I am very appreciative that she continues to keep that baseline even as the story progresses.  She is clearly maturing as life is throwing traumatic events and serious decisions her direction, but she is faithful to her core beliefs.

I was also a big fan of how Olivia has put characters in her story that are diverse in their abilities and how their families are responding to them.




Personal Dislikes

While I just pointed out Catori's baseline, her opinions on everything else sway very easily... each side is giving her only bits of what would result if she picked their side, and she always believes everyone.  The back-and-forth drove me nuts. She old enough to have a little more street smarts about politics of sides, and well, it was a bit frustrating... even if it was needed to help develop more of the characters and drive the plot...

A little more on that, Catori acts and speaks like she is very smart, and sure, yet she clearly does not know everything... and there were a few times in the story where that made the story line feel a little pushed. It's hard to set up a good fantasy world that runs congruent to reality, and in these moments it could have been smoothed out a bit.

My biggest issue, and this could be a trigger for some, is a scene where Catori chooses to get behind the wheel of a car even though she knows, and says, she shouldn't be driving since she had a little too much to drink. I know it helped the pace, but still...


Reading List Rating


I'm giving this a five heart rating - I am just so into Catori's life... and Olivia knows how to leave you wanting more from a story.  Sure there are some hiccups in the details, but the story is too much fun.  And it's a quick read, which tends to mean the story is very captivating for me. 





My Suggested Audience

I am going to continue to say this a  NA - for readers 18+ as Catori is in college, and is dealing with more adult issues than a younger YA novel character would deal with.  And the details of the love relationships are more appropriate for an older audience. That said, younger readers could be interested if they can handle the more mature scenes.

There is more violence in this book than the first one, so that should be noted - as Catori's family owns the graveyard there are some more graphic descriptions of death, and burials. Again there is minor swearing throughout the book as fits with the personalities of the characters. And the superstitions and different religious/faith references could bother some people. 



Rowan Wood Legends by Olivia Wildenstein a book review on Reading List




About the Author

Olivia Wildenstein grew up in New York City, the daughter of a French father with a great sense of humor, and a Swedish mother whom she speaks toat least three times a day. She chose Brown University tocomplete her undergraduate studies and earned a bachelor’s in comparative literature. After designing jewelry for a few years, Wildenstein traded in her tools for a laptop computer and a very comfortable chair. This line of work made more sense, considering her college degree. When she’s not writing, she’s psychoanalyzing everyone she meets (Yes. Everyone), eavesdropping on conversations to gather material for her next book, baking up a storm (that she actually eats), going to the gym (because she eats), and attempting not tobe late at her children’s school (like she is 4 out of 5 mornings, on good weeks). Wildenstein lives with her husband and three children in Geneva, Switzerland, where she’s anactive member of the writing community.





Wondering Questions to Consider


I love how these books are showing how a person's genealogy can impact their future - that the knowledge of the past of a family can explain more and more about where a person is in life and the paths in front of them, while still not demanding one to go down a certain path.

This book allows for plenty of discussion of diversity, race, as well continues to allow for discussions on death and life after death.



Rowan Wood Legends by Olivia Wildenstein a book review on Reading List


Are you a fan of fantasy stories that are pulled more from this reality, or fantasy stories that are completely different? 


I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List



Don't miss Rose Petal Graves - Book One - of this great series!


**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here - it doesn't cost you anything extra, and it would simply make my day!!  In fact, just click through and do your shopping, even if you decide not to get this particular book. TIA


***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

**** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, the author, and Blog Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”





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