To wrap up Bad Books Week, here is a book that is not bad at all and does amazingly at not only avoiding love triangles and insta-love, but is a highly romantic and captivating tale.
Mist on Water
By Shea Berkley
Publisher: Thursday Publishing
Publication Date: July 13th, 2015
Long ago, in a far off land, there rose a tale as old as the earth.
As long as Ryne can remember, his parents told him to beware the nix in the lake. From the day he was born, the tale of the nix and how she demanded Ryne as her prize for setting his captured father free has defined Ryne’s life. No matter what he does, he can’t shed its curse…in everyone’s eyes, Ryne is doomed to die.
Nari is the only one who befriends Ryne, and loves him without fear despite the villagers’ relentless jeers. But when Ryne disappears beneath the cold waters of the lake, everyone believes he’s dead. Everyone except Nari.
Now it’s up to Nari to defy her family, her village and the legend of the nix to bring Ryne back from his watery prison or they’ll both be lost. forever.
With an expansive range of perspectives and a beautiful and endearing love story, Mist on Water was a book I went into greatly underestimating and came out in love with. The premise of the book is a classic one, a man is caught by a magical creature and, to save his life, makes a bargain he doesn’t fully understand. However, this narrative takes it one step further. You see Ryne, the boy unwittingly promised to the Nix in exchange for his father’s life, grow up under suspicious glances and ill will from the members of his village. You watch as he grows to understand and live with the stigma of being a cursed child, one doomed to die at the hands of the Nix. But you also see him fall in bewildered love with his best friend and watch their relationship develop from that of children in awkward and stumbling first love to young adults who recognize a kindred spirit and soul mate in each other.
This book is not so much about the Nix as it is about Ryne and Nari and how their relationship develops in the shadow of Ryne’s curse. It is a relationship that spends the first half of the book developing and the rest of the book relying on. After awkwardly realizing their feelings for each other early on and then doing a good job of not communicating them like typical teenagers, Ryne and Nari are separated before being reunited at her brother’s wedding. Their relationship is one I wish I saw much more often in YA novels. It is solid, with both parties fully devoted to the other with no insecurities. Their faith in each other is unquestioned, it is pure and solid and beautifully rendered in Shea’s terrific writing.
With a multiple point of view book, I would have expected to be annoyed that we miss key events in the book in other perspectives than the ones we have grown attached to. The reader spends the first half of the book with Ryne, in his head and heart before moving on to the story of the Nix, which is nothing that I thought it would be, before wrapping up the story with Nari. Despite the Nix becoming a sympathetic character and spending the majority of the book in Ryne’s head, I felt that Nari was the true hero of the story. It’s during her perspective that I felt the most connected to the story and we get the most fairy tale like feeling. She encounters anthropomorphic animals and a cryptic old woman, the latter giving her advice on how to rescue her man from the Nyx, and she must complete a series of tasks with several magical objects, in addition to a magic all her own, to defeat the Nix.
Mist on Water was a spectacular read, with compelling characters and a magical story of love and what it can overcome. Shea’s writing was lush, romantic, and fantastic and she is definitely an author I will be investigating further.
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Disclaimer: Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for providing a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The synopsis, cover and other book info were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. None belong to us.