Karin Rita Gastreich
Orb Weaver Press
Reviewed By Megan Mauro
Official Apex Reviews Rating:
Combining elements of the bildungsroman, the origin story, and classic high fantasy, Karin Rita Gastreich’s Eolyn is a refreshing new take on a timeless favorite.
Eolyn is, at its heart, the story of a young woman creating her place in a world that’s been taken from her. The last surviving heir of the magas of old, protagonist Eolyn must embark on a journey to restore magic to the women of her kingdom. Faced with visions of war, budding romance, and the ever-looming threat of betrayal, she must look within to find the key to freedom before it’s too late.
Headstrong, hopeful, and fiercely loyal to her roots, Eolyn is a character you can’t help but stand behind. Gastreich, however, doesn’t let her characters off easy—much like Eolyn, herself, the reader is never fully sure where anyone’s loyalties lie. Reeling with political drama, romantic anticipation, and dangerous secrets, the reader is often left very little time to get their feet back on the ground before the story takes flight again. It takes a discerning mind to keep a firm grasp on the finer details of the plot; luckily for us, Eolyn isn’t a difficult book to get sucked into.
Though a fantastical tale on the surface, Gastreich is truly masterful in weaving powerful themes throughout the story. A tale of female oppression, prejudice, and even deadly seduction, Eolyn touches on issues that are deeply relevant in our own society. At times both heartwarming and heart-wrenching, the story warns young women about the ways in which the world will try to take advantage of them—but it does so in a way that never denies them their magic. Women and men alike will be moved by the strength, compassion, and raw human emotion it takes for a young woman to thrive in a society that has hunted her since birth.
Exciting and thought-provoking from beginning to end, Eolyn is doubtlessly a story to sink your teeth into.