If you want a book that starts with a bang, and pisses you off because it ends on a cliff hanger and you desperately want book two, say no more. Nirel by Sarah Rajah is a book for you. If you would rather watch a video review, find it here!
The plot of this book develops overtime, but at its foundation it is about Nirel, is who is discovered to be a healer. Something that is incredibly rare in this world. Once her power was discovered she should have been turned over to the king. Instead however, her family kept her hidden. That is, until soldiers came to her town and injured her brother. With the choice between letting him die, or healing him, she chose to heal him.
Once her power is discovered she is put under the protection of Jase while they travel to the King to present her, so that she can become the kings new healer. Along the way, she develops feelings for Jase (shocking I know).
I think this is the first time I have read a book with a love triangle, that I actively enjoyed it. Once Nirel is in the capital, she meets Corvin. Corvin also has magic, but his magic is being a seer. He can connect with beings and predict the future. I really enjoyed that the author added little touches about his magic, such as it physically pained him, that there were hundreds of outcomes he would need to sort through, and that he wasn’t infallible. Once Nirel meets him she is instantly attracted to him, but she chalks it up to attraction because he also had magic, and she was determined to be with Jase if she had a say. Seeing how this love triangle started to play out in this book was really good. And when Nirel does ultimately end up choosing someone, her reasons are really good reasons. It isn’t based on looks, or anything else shallow. It is based upon what happens in the world.
Another thing I really loved about this book, whether or not the author intended it to be this way, was the mentions of purity culture. The idea of purity plays a huge role in this book with Nirel, where kissing someone is not ok unless you are marrying them. You can get beaten for doing it. Having long hair is a symbol of purity. And when Nirel does eventually sleep next to someone for her own comfort, (as in they fell asleep and nothing else happened) and rumors spread that she had sex, she is deeply ashamed. She can barely look the person she slept next to in the eyes. I hate purity culture personally, and I am thrilled the author touched on it.
The last thing I LOVED that the author did, was interwove time travel into her book. I have read time travel books before (who hasn’t) and some are really well done. Some suck so much you can’t even bring yourself to turn the page. Time was an interesting plot device in this book with how it was used, and how there are specific people that are there to stop any time travel at all.
If I had to pick something bad about this book, other than it ended, it is that the ending of this book does happen rather quickly and some things get blurred. I was a little confused as events were happening, because so many things were happening so quickly that it was kind of hard to keep straight all of the events. I did have to go back and reread it a few times just to make sure I understood everything.
Overall – I really enjoyed this book (and have actually already recommended it to someone else to read). This does blur the lines a little bit between young adult and adult as there are a few sex scenes, but they are not graphic at all. I highly recommend this book, and if you try it, I am sure you will love it!
Nirel (The Timekeepers of Laeviin Book 1) – Sarah Rajah
Cost* – eBook is $3.99. Paperback is $15.99. This book is available on Kindle Unlimited.
*Cost is based upon what the book cost when book review is published