Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Banished by Liz De Jager

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Sitting on one of the swings in the park opposite the school, my watch tells me I’m forty minutes early for the start of my school day and I wonder how much longer this assignment will last.
Published in February 2014 by Tor
Pages – 389
Book Summary
Kit is proud to be a Blackhart, now she’s encountered her unorthodox cousins and their strange lives. And her home-schooling now includes spells, fighting enemy fae and using ancient weapons. But it’s not until she rescues a rather handsome fae prince, fighting for his life on the edge of Blackhart Manor, that her training really kicks in. With her family away on various missions, Kit must protect Prince Thorn, rely on new friends and use her own unfamiliar magic to stay ahead of Thorn’s enemies. As things go from bad to apocalyptic, fae battle fae in a war that threatens to spill into the human world. Then Kit pits herself against the Elder Gods themselves – it’s that or lose everyone she’s learnt to love.
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I have to state before you read my review that I do actually know Liz De Jager. She was very much a pioneer in the UKYA book blogging community and her imput is sorely missed. Now I guess you are thinking that my review will be biased because I know Liz. Well you couldn’t be more wrong. I was extremely nervous about reading this book; I was worried that I might not like it, that it might not live up to the early wide spread love already gained. In fact, I did speak to Liz via email before reviewing it and she knew I would be honest with my review.
As soon as I started reading it, I was surprised by it. Firstly it wasn’t what I was expecting. I was convinced it was higher fantasy when in actual fact, it was more urban fantasy set in the UK. From the very first chapter I was completely engrossed in Kit’s story and my word, she is one butt kicking character! She makes every young lad she meets looks weak in comparison. She is afraid of nothing and really ignites this story. There is obviously more to Kit than we find out in this book and I am looking forward to hearing more about her past in the next book.
The world building for this book is amazing. I knew Liz had a love for folklore and legend, but it really shines through in this book, as her knowledge is so detailed, adding an intricate level to the story.
The plot is fast paced and there were a few times I found myself holding my breath. Could Kit and Thorn save the day? How on earth would they get out of each explosive situation? And yet each time, they did. They solved it. If you think this might be a case of insta-love, think again. Although the relationship between Kit and Thorn develops within the book, it is a slow burning need for each other. They rely heavily on each other, before even a glint of romance appears.
I really really loved this book. I can hold my hand up and say that I loved it more than Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones, which is something I never ever thought I would say. It feels like Liz has not only successfully created urban fantasy set in the UK, but she has smashed it! I want more, I need more! I am desperate for Book 2, even though Banished didn’t end on an almighty cliff hanger. You can tell that Liz has listened to the YA market as well as encompassing her own knowledge to create a fast paced, explosive book that captures your imagination and leaves you wanting more.

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