Aerisian Refrain (Beyond the Sunset Lands #1) by Sarah Ashwood (2018)
YA Fiction | Fantasy | Romance
“Following the prophesied Artan’s victory over the Dark Powers, the land of Aerisia is finally at rest, until ancient beings, long imprisoned, begin to stir…
Eight years after Annie Richards’ stellar voice and musical talents skyrocketed her from rural Oklahoma to international fame, haunting visions have begun threatening her sanity. While she’s returning to her childhood home to convalesce, creatures straight from her nightmares bring down her plane. Annie wakens in a parallel world, Aerisia. Here, she discovers her musical gifts translate into magical powers—the legacy of a banished race who have been invading her dreams.
Mistrusted by Aerisia’s most powerful factions because of her heritage, Annie finds allies are hard to come by. Supporting her are one Simathe warrior, Cole, who refuses to label her as evil, and one woman willing to stand against anything and anyone to help a friend: the Artan herself. Seizing control of her destiny will mean defying both her ancestors and the Aerisian leaders. Mastering her magic may mean making the greatest sacrifice of all…or risk becoming the reason Aerisia itself is torn apart.”
Expected Publication Date: July 13, 2018
pooled ink Review:
Thank you to the author for submitting this book for review!
Okay this book fell into my lap at just the right moment. I was beginning to descend into a reading slump when a good ol’ trusty YA Fantasy popped up in the request folder of my email and I jumped on it. As many of you are well aware I have a long-held fondness for YA Fantasy. Is it always the best writing out there? No, but it almost always relaxes me and this book definitely put a smile on my face.
As soon as I began reading I fell right into the story. The rhythm, the pacing, the tone, it was all hitting a sweet spot for me. Furthermore it was a story that struck a balance between insight and ease. By that I mean, it didn’t tax the mind to read but it wasn’t fluff either. I could sit and read for hours simply enjoying the story and its layers.
Annie’s magic was very interesting to read about. In fact all of the world-building had me fascinated and dying to read more (faeries? dragons? magic? YES TO IT ALL). I could easily envision this fantastical world crafted on the page and I believed each character that joined it.
As far as fantasy goes I was certainly a fan of the magic, species, roles, etc. established in this world called Aerisia. The romance that blooms was simply a very welcome bonus on top of the tale of dark destiny clawing at Annie and the faeries.
I enjoyed reading this book so much I will certainly be keeping an eye out for any more stories that may follow (*cough* more dragons please? *cough*) and I’ll definitely be checking out the preceding trilogy that focuses on the character named Hannah. I was particularly thrilled to find that while more books may follow this one, Aerisian Refrain can be read as a standalone. You don’t have to have read the preceding series and you don’t have to read any sequels (although if you enjoy this book as much as I did I’m sure you’ll seek them out).
Overall this was a lovely YA Fantasy Romance that suited my mood perfectly. It was a light read but full of substance, emotion, plight, and delight. I’m so glad Sarah Ashwood reached out to me about reviewing her work or I might never have stumbled across it.
Written in a voice of grounded reality while spinning a tale of enrapturing fantasy, Aerisian Refrain is an underrated story of music, magic, and the mastery of one’s fate. Captivating characters and haunting enemies fill the pages while the softness of unexpected love softens the edges of impending demise looming over them all. A worthy read for any YA Fantasy fan.
Purchase Here: Aerisian Refrain
Similar Recommended Reads: Roar by Cora Carmack, Frostblood by Elly Blake, Radiance by Grace Draven, Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini, Lichgates by S.M. Boyce, Sora’s Quest by T.L. Shreffler
Meet Sarah Ashwood!
Don’t believe all the hype: Sarah Ashwood isn’t really a gladiator, a Highlander, a fencer, a skilled horsewoman, an archer, a magic wielder, or a martial arts expert. That’s only in her mind. In real life, she’s a genuine Okie from Muskogee who is the author of the brand new Beyond the Sunset Lands series, the Sunset Lands Beyond fantasy trilogy, the fantasy novella Amana, and A Minstrel’s Musings, a volume of poetry. She lives (mostly) quietly at home with her husband and three sons, where she tries to sneak in a daily workout or run to save her sanity.