Saturday, March 2, 2013

Review: Balkan Magic by Emigh Cannaday

Title: Balkan Magic
Author: Emigh Cannaday
Source: Self-Purchased
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

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.

A good start to a fantasy/urban fantasy mixed series.  We travel from the "real-world" to a world of elves, fairies, and wood nymphs.  I loved the non-human creatures a lot, they were extremely unique and memorable in their own little ways.  While the world was somewhat stereotypical, it was very fitting - and the time spent in describing the important parts, such as Talvi's home, was amazing.  It really comes to life in your mind.

There were some places where the pace of the story fell a little flat and I really wanted it to move a little quicker.  While the primary goal of the story was to get Annika back home, many adventures unfold while attempting this near impossible task.  The banter between Annika and Talvi is priceless, and was fun to read.  A very big cliffhanger ending leads the reader straight into the second book.

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