Book Review: Return by Charity Santiago

coverTitle: Return

Author: Charity Santiago

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 7/10

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For the last three years, eighteen-year-old Ashlyn Li has been running from her destiny. A free-spirited ninja, Ashlyn would rather loot an abandoned city or challenge a fiend to battle than assume leadership of Toryn, her father’s kingdom. However, when a series of attacks reunites Ashlyn with the friends who helped her save the sun three years ago, she discovers that her kingdom is at war and her father has presumed her dead.

Suddenly Ashlyn is faced with not only fulfilling her birthright, but also making sense of her feelings towards two very different men- Drake Lockhart, the enigmatic vampire who captured her heart three years ago, and Vargo, the charismatic assassin who was once Ashlyn’s sworn enemy.

Will Ashlyn ascend the pagoda and become Lady of Toryn?

I had trouble getting into this book at first. Ashlyn returns from an unexplained three-year absence, much of which she spend in hiding. She’s a warrior, a ninja of sorts, and the oldest heir of Toryn. Her father thinsk she’s dead though, and has left the throne to Devlyn, his adoptive son. But Devlyn is a tyrant, at least that’s what Ashlyn’s friends tell her, and they have to battle him to get her kingdom back.

I thought at first that I was reading the second or third part in a series. Ashlyn reunites with her old friends, and it’s a little awkward for the reader because there’s so much history here that you don’t know.I  didn’t understand why some of her friends acted the way they did – cold or distant. There’s also a lot of back story between Ashlyn and Drake that’s only revealed later on.

What I liked the most was the concept. Ninjas in a fantasy kingdom battling alongside vampires, Spartans and magicians using healing stances and such. Sounds great so far. The plot was nice too, and it wasn’t predictable at all. What I disliked though were the character interactions. They felt too random at times, sometimes too uptight, not fluent, not really like dialogue.

Like, in the beginning Vargo keeps calling Ashlyn things like ‘beautiful’ and such, like ‘hey, beautiful’. It’s strange and it seemed out of character for him. Made me cringe. I got used to him though, but I was still more of a Drake fan. For a while, I actually rooted for Skye and Ashlyn though, because they seemed to have a special connection.

All in all, I enjoyed this read, and I wouldn’t mind reading more books by this author. The plot was solid, the characters were okay even if their interactions weren’t always as natural, and the setting was great.


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One Response to Book Review: Return by Charity Santiago

  1. Thank you for taking the time to review my book! I so appreciate that you expressed your opinion on what you did and didn’t like about the book respectfully. I hope you have a great day!

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