Finally, finally, RELIC has hit the shelves. I read the ARC in June…so, blogglings, feel my suffering of having to wait so long to share this fabulous book with you.
RELIC released on the 27th of August!
Also (how awesome is this, blogglings?!), tomorrow I’m the last stop in the RELIC blog-tour! Yup. That’s right. Tomorrow there’ll be a giveaway plus a guest post by the author herself. You don’t want to miss it! (Trust me.)
After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.
Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.
Relic is a thrilling adventure set in a wholly unique world, and a spell-binding story of love, trust, and the power of good.
Cowboys and magic – what more could you want?!
Honestly, I haven’t read anything like this book. It has aspects of the old favourites – American western, cowboys, magic, dinosaur bones, adorable little sisters, and several guys falling for one sixteen year old gal. Mash it all together and you get RELIC. Funky and sparky with an ending to KILL YOU. Let’s just say: I had a bookish hangover.
First things first: the combination of Old Western and magic. Brilliance. I’m not a fan of historical fiction, so I had doubts coming into RELIC. My fears didn’t vanish until halfway through, but after that I was sold. People have “relics”, which are the bones of fabled beasts, like unicorns, vampires, and dragons. They have special powers. Seriously – cool. I’m of the opinion you can put superpowers into any situation and BOOM. Insta-awesome. But, moving on, shall we?
Characters! Unfortunately, Maggie Davis (narrator) didn’t resonate with me. She was the typical “strong” female heroine minus the kick-butt aspects. I found her refreshing, but no click. Her relationship with her little sister Ella is sweet, but I needed more. I only cared about Ella because she was small and had lost her family, perfect fodder for tears. But had Ella held a spunky personality, oh, I’d have been sold 100%. To me, it felt like she was just Maggie’s tipping point, to be reused whenever Maggie needed to be manipulated. Adelaide, on the other hand? Very well done. She’s a prostitute, working a slave contract, and she had a powerful character.
As for the men of the tale, there was NO love-triangle. It may seem otherwise, but nope. Crush the clichés (woot!). We do have three strapping young men, two (the cowboy and rich landowner) want Maggie, the third (Native American chap) is just there. Literally. Just there. I enjoyed the dynamics of Maggie and Landon’s (the cowboy) relationship. Sweet and snappy. I was intrigued why the rich landowner, Alvar, would want Maggie at all. For goodness sakes, she’s sixteen.
I appreciated how RELIC handled issues such as prostitution and mistresses. Sexual innuendos are there, but in reality the book is very clean. To be historically accurate, yes, prostitution was an issue. The lanky cowboys didn’t hang out in the saloons just for the drink. I feel the author was careful and tasteful in her portrayals. I also LOVED how Maggie was so “proper”. She had a heart attack when she wore a dress with (gasp) no sleeves. I really enjoyed the trip back-in-time.
The writing is beautiful, the plot substantial (although I couldn’t remember all the villains names and, as a result, didn’t really know who to hate) and the ending knocked my socks off. I was torn though. No spoilers, but Adelaide’s conclusion disappointed me. It took me a while to get enthralled in the book, but afterwards I was glued to my kindle screen.
Bring out the bones! RELIC is a rich book, with the smell of the good ol’ west and the trimmings of epic fantasy.
Thank you to Entangled Teen for the ARC!
cait is a reader of many books and an eater of much lasagna. due to tomato-sauce stains, she doesn’t do both at once. before relic, she didn’t like old western tales, due to despising john wayne. she wonders if john wayne needed a relic? currently, she is reading indelible and listening to the alice in wonderland soundtrack.