Book Review
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Book Review ~ The Language of Souls & Aire, by Lena Goldfinch

About the Book

The Language of SoulsA fast-paced tale of adventure and soul-stirring romance that will leave you breathless.

Solena trespasses into hostile territory to search for a rare herb to cure the grandfather she loves. When a young enemy soldier captures her and she’s accused of being a spy, she discovers just how much she’s risked.

As a soldier, Rundan struggles to please his father, a ruthless army commander. When his father orders him to take the beautiful trespasser to the royal courts, where she’ll surely be tried and executed, Rundan is plagued by an inconvenient desire to protect her.

The handsome young soldier confuses Solena. First, he cruelly captures her, and then treats her with uncommon kindness. When he risks his life to save hers, she fears she may have risked more than her life on her journey…she may have lost her heart.

Genre

Christian Novella/YA Fantasy Romance

My Rating

5 out of 5 (stars)

My Review

This was a very sweet read, and I was sorry when I swiped over the last page.

The story is a journey of two people from very different worlds (or tribes) who met, couldn’t understand each other’s language, but learnt to do so by gestures (and the language of their hearts and souls. It was beautiful!), and they ended up discovering they were kindred spirits after all.

It was fascinating and dreamy to follow Solena and Rundan. There was never a dull moment with these two! They couldn’t have been more different in cultures and physical appearances, but oh, how they were such a perfect match! In their journey, they learned to understand each other, deeply care for one another, and eventually fall in love.

I loved that this story showed that love, when merged with truth and humility, indeed conquers ALL differences. A very sweet read indeed! I applaud Lena’s craftsmanship.

You can find this review on facebook.

About the Book

Aire“Danger, magic, romance, and royal intrigue, AIRE is a must read!” —NYT Bestselling Author JESSICA ANDERSEN

“Looking for something fresh and new to read? Try Lena Goldfinch’s AIRE.” —Serena Chase, USA Today HEA

A tale of Legends reborn, royal intrigue, and an unforgettable, heart-melting romance that will sweep you away.

Annalisia is a seer, a princess with a courageous spirit—and a soft spot for Legends.

Jovanni is a Legend, a commoner with no patience for pampered royals.

Principessa Annalisia is stunned and conscience-stricken when an unknown enemy mistakenly abducts her maidservant. Determined to find the girl, Annalisia disguises herself as plain Anna and slips away from the palace. She tracks down Jovanni, her maidservant’s daring older brother, and they soon begin to search together. As they uncover clues, Anna also discovers a kindred spirit in Jovanni. But would he be so free with her if he knew who she really was? Doubtful. Even so, she reveals her secret gift of visions to him, and in so doing disobeys the orders of her beloved grandmother, the queen.

With Jovanni, Anna can almost imagine she’s like any other seventeen year old girl, free to pursue the longings of her heart. When she learns that he also has a secret—he’s a sentinel, an ancient shapeshifter who can take the form of a falcon—it seems as if they were destined to be together, as in the legends of il Sentiro. Though Anna is tempted to wish otherwise, she can’t forget that she’s a princess and it’s her duty to marry another. Meanwhile, their hunt leads Anna ever closer to danger, for she herself is being hunted.

A princess and a commoner.

They never should have fallen in love…but they did.

AIRE is a lush, romantic fantasy, inspired by ancient Italy and Turkey.

Genre

Christian/YA Fantasy Romance

My Rating

5 out of 5 (stars)

My Review

I started reading this book not knowing what to expect (being saying that a lot recently), except that it was fantasy, because I’m familiar with Lena’s work/genre.

The plot was pleasantly complex in its own way, but mildly so. Characterization was in-depth, and the setting was sensationally alluring. But what I loved most was the dialogue. It was intricately woven with words of English and Italian. You wouldn’t have to understand Italian to get the meaning, or the objective. Lena tucked them in, in such a way that—what do I call it?—it was The Language of Souls? {Lol! Read this book (and The Language of Souls), and you’ll get my meaning. J} Words like “cara”, “amore”, “finito”, “Balladosa”, spoke to my heart and just made me want to learn Italian. Honestly, if I wasn’t close to the final stages of editing To Die Once, I’d borrow Lena’s dialogue catalogue and sprinkle Italian ALL OVER IT! Not kidding! (I just might;) )

Now, what to expect from Aire … it’s a story rich with culture and suspense. Lena didn’t spare her imagination with this piece. She created a whole new world, yet it felt so real you could relate to it!

In Aire, you’re thrown into the world of the monarch and all the drama (and chaos) that comes with it. Emotions like love, fear, anxiety, hope, bitterness, anger, distrust, faith, and elements such as lies, truth, promise and many others were strewn all over this story. It kept me guessing as to how this would end in any way acceptable to anyone who sympathized with the characters. In the end, it is clear that the lives of the royals can be very much affected by commoners, so that we can see that monarchs are as human and vulnerable as everyone else.

My favorite character was Ilan. I’m sorry that he wasn’t given more space in this story as I really felt the plot limited his character much. I found myself wishing he was so much more, or had been given more as a reward. Thankfully, a bit of that was taken care of in the end. Although I wish I knew exactly what that reward was. Perhaps, Lena will write a story for this guy? (Hinting here! ;))

Another character that caught my attention was Natius, second only to Ilan in my list of favorites. Lena introduced him into the story in a way that piqued my interest. Like Anna initially did, I started to dream up positive possibilities for this guy. Like I did for Ilan, I wished he had better. The noble role he played towards the end of the story settled him in my heart for good! Having being introduced to Ilan and Natius first, it took a good bit of time for me to warm up to Jovanni because those two guys stole my allegiance. Jovanni initially came up as a very rude intruder to the story I had started cooking up in my head, and he had to fight for his place in my heart well up to half of the book—no kidding! But somewhere on a certain rooftop, like Anna, I opened my heart to him. But Lena, seriously, give Natius and Ilan a story. They deserve it! Don’t you think? 😉 Natius has the look and status, and Aire already set such a great premise for him. And Ilan, well, he has such potential!

I love that this book wasn’t just two people’s love story. No sir! Although it was mainly about Anna and Jovanni, maids, tutors, princes, princesses and soldiers weren’t left out. Monarch or commoner, this plot didn’t make it easy on anyone. EVERYONE had to fight for their love, giving the plot its interesting complexity.

The lessons gleaned from this wonderfully complex piece are just amazing. Honestly, when God has designed that two people should come together, fall in love, and live happily ever after, NOTHING and NOBODY can get in the way. He will create events that will bend policies and change rules, so that you can be elevated to receive His gift. This was the case with Jovanni. I tell you, I thought, and wondered, and pondered on how in the world Lena would finish the story in a way that would accommodate God granting Jovanni his heart desire. But once again, this story proved that God is not a God subject to odds, but is a God of miracles. The hand of God is NEVER too short to accomplish anything, nor can His power be limited by the vastness of odds. In fact, the more the odds, the bigger the miracle. Right?

Also, Queen Josefina—Anna’s grandmother—recognized the potential threat to her kingdom. And of course, like any responsible monarch who wanted to leave a secure and lasting legacy for her grandchildren and the generations to come, she took matters into her own hands. She thought of a plan, which by any human standard was an excellent one. But the “Most High” had other plans. Indeed, “man conceives in his heart, but it is the Lord that orders his footsteps.” And here-in, is a lesson in trust.

It took a while for this story to sink in as I read it, but somewhere along, it gripped me and wouldn’t let go. And in the end, I’m glad I read it! The end certainly put a smile on my face. Folks, I recommend Aire. It is not the typical fantasy book you see out there. It is fresh, complex, bitter-sweet (with emphasis on the story ending sweetly), and rich/breathtaking in its dialogue and setting. At this point, I will say I’m … finito. Lol!

*Although I offer these reviews to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. My heartfelt gratitude to Lena Goldfinch, the author, for a free copy in exchange for my honest and humble opinion. You can also find this post on facebook.

About the Author

wpid-Lena-480px.jpgLena Goldfinch lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. She writes fiction for young adults, mostly light fantasy with a healthy dose of “sigh-worthy” romance. You can visit her online at http://www.lenagoldfinch.blogspot.com.

You can read the Savvy Saturday Weekly Paper for readers and writers by clicking here.

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4 Comments

  1. Dear Miranda,

    What beautiful, thoughtful reviews! It was encouraging and humbling to read them. I’m so glad you enjoyed both books and am grateful to have you as part of the “Sweet YA Reads” book tour. And more than that to have the opportunity to get to know you better. THANK YOU!! 🙂

    Please feel free to sprinkle whatever Italian in as you wish. 😉 I certainly enjoyed doing so, and met some lovely Italian beta readers in the process, who helped me fine-tune things. (And kept me from getting into too much trouble. ;))

    • Very welcome Lena! I’m humbled that you think my reviews are thoughtful. And I’m happy to be part of the blog tour. 🙂 Getting to know you and your books is an experience I’m grateful for–thank you!

      Gosh, you really do tempt me to borrow some Italian! *sighing* 😉

  2. I agree with Lena – Miranda, you write such beautiful and thoughtful reviews! So glad you enjoyed both of these stories and you were wiling to share your thoughts on them for the tour! 😀 *Hugs*

    ~Amber

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