Saturday 16 January 2021

The Unwilling by Kelly Braffet | Book Review

[AD/Gifted - I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

The Unwilling by Kelly Braffet - 4/5
The Unwilling is the story of Judah, a foundling born with a special gift and raised inside Highfall castle along with Gavin, the son and heir to Lord Elban's vast empire. Judah and Gavin share an unnatural bond that is both the key to her survival...and possibly her undoing.

As Gavin is groomed for his future role, Judah comes to realize that she has no real position within the kingdom, in fact, no hope at all of ever traveling beyond its castle walls. Elban--a lord as mighty as he is cruel--has his own plans for her, for all of them. She is a mere pawn to him, and he will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

But outside the walls, in the starving, desperate city, a magus, a healer with his own secret power unlike anything Highfall has seen in years, is newly arrived from the provinces. He, too, has plans for the empire, and at the heart of those plans lies Judah... The girl who started life with no name and no history will soon uncover more to her story than she ever imagined.

An epic tale of greed and ambition, cruelty and love, this deeply immersive novel is about bowing to traditions and burning them down.

Going into 2021, I wanted to branch out a bit and read different genres that I wouldn't usually pick up. Fantasy is one of those. I don't know why, but I was just never drawn to them. This was my first foray into the genre and what a great one it was.

Judah is a foundling with bright red hair and black eyes. She has no place in the kingdom of Highfall. She shares a unique and special bond with "foster brother" Gavin, heir of Lord Elban and he is set to become Lord of the City. Judah and Gavin can feel each others pain and can communicate through scratches on their arms. Judah must be kept safe and unharmed so that Gavin will be safe.

A healer named Nathaniel (Nate) is able to sneak his way into the House and ends up becoming the magus. He is there for a reason. He knows all about Judah and needs to get to her. But why? Is she as unimportant as she thinks?

This is an absolute beast of a book at close to 600 pages and it's probably one of the longest I've ever read. I was daunted at the beginning but was shocked by how hooked on the story that I became. It is definitely a slow burner, which is sometimes hard for me as I love a fast-paced thriller, and it isn't for the faint hearted. It has made me want to read more of the genre for sure.

1 comment on "The Unwilling by Kelly Braffet | Book Review"
  1. It sounds fantastic! I love a good fantasy book and this sounds like something I'd pick up in a shop then immediately have to bring it home! Reminds me of a darker style of The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.