Storm Siren - Mary Weber

Mary sent me a signed copy because she's the sweetest, most awesomest author EVER.

Slave girl Nym is snatched up by a court advisor when her true identity, that of an element-controlling mage, is revealed, with plans to use her as a weapon. But she can’t control her curse. How is she supposed to save her kingdom?

The worldbuilding in this book was so vast, but effortlessly imparted. I never felt any infodumping or preaching whatsoever, it was so subtle. True, I’m still not 100% sure what kingdoms have which magical abilities but I’m sure that’ll be sorted out eventually. What I didn’t like was the idea of there being normal animals and there also being hybrid animals like horse-bears or lion-turtles (examples, I don’t actually recall if they were mentioned). There was this horrible creature called a balcrane, which was also used as a swear word, but we never actually saw this creature despite its presence, which I think was cleverly done. Last there were the meat-eating horses, which, although sounds cool in theory, would be completely impractical seeing as how horses were herd animals and prey for only all of their evolution. When they were let off to go hunt I was thinking sure, cats have claws and wolves have tireless stamina but how would a horse hunt something?

Nym was a class all in herself of how to write a Mary Sue without her being a Mary Sue. She had several of the trademarks of being a Mary Sue – the only one of her kind, physically different, special, orphaned, etc… but her personality! She was so strong, and had such a kick-ass attitude even though she was enveloped by this eternal grief because she thought she was responsible for her curse killing people. People never made it easy on her or gifted her things just because, and she had to work really hard for everything she got, including control over her power, which came at a great price. There was only one love interest, and he took his damn time, practically toying with her because it was forbidden. Nym was just so perfectly imperfect. She was enduring, and that’s what I liked most about her.

I really liked her relationship with the charming Colin because he was so confident and arrogant and funny, but I much less liked the relationship with blind Breck. Breck was pushy and bossy and I often lost my patience with her. The other established relationship was with Eogan, Nym’s trainer, but I kind of feel lukewarm about him. I don’t really ship Nym with anyone. I can see her close, plutonic friendship with Colin, and I can see her attraction to Eogan, but I didn’t feel anything. I was far too invested in Nym as a character, and what she was going through, to care about her kissing other guys. Sorry, Eogan, I know you must have your fans out there. Although I do have to give the book 10/10 for diversity! Eogan is not your typical mainstream white asshole YA love interest.

I put off reading Storm Siren for a LONG TIME because I wanted to love it SO MUCH, I was so invested in this story that seemed like it would speak to my soul... but I would only ever get to read it for the first time once!

Also, I heard there was a cliffhanger, so I sneakily waited until I had Book 2 Siren's Fury and could dive into it next. HA HA SNEAKY NEMO IS SNEAKY.

But I have an incredibly short list of authors who write my favourite genre of books, that speak to my soul, that seem to be my author soul mates, if such a thing existed. So far those places are taken by Louise Cooper, Maria V Snyder, and Heather Dixon. I am so happy to announce that Mary Weber also takes a very special place in my heart and joins these wonderful fantasy authors.

The author sent me a signed copy of this book as thanks for encouragement. It was not offered in exchange for a review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.