Eolande: The Keepers of Imbria Book 4
by J. Barrett
Anthem in Art

"It seemed silly to me to line up on opposing sides of a field and wait to slaughter each other, but apparently that was the way of it."

After ten years of captivity, a battle taking place in the castle allows Eolande the chance to escape. Although she can wield great power through amulets, a warding stone has been inserted in her back to keep her from accessing that power. She is supposed to be the chosen one, but her aunt faked a public execution of Eolande and has spent the last decade leeching power from her blood. When she finally manages to return to the people she knew, Eolande has to navigate through false loyalties and the fear of the price of her power. Can and should Eolande forge an alliance with the bloodthirsty race of the Fomori? How many will suffer and die for her to stand against those who wish her dead?

Barrett’s fourth entry in her fantasy series continues the drama of the Keeper’s troubled family history. Her heroine can tap into great power, but it always costs a part of another’s life. In this way, Barrett keeps her protagonist’s power in check and surrounds her with interesting secondary characters who may be there to protect her but may also be there to use her. Barrett’s story is written in the first person. The sentences are well-crafted and descriptive, and her worldbuilding provides an intriguing setting. Just like with real-life people, some readers will love the protagonist, while others might find her and the internal dialogue a bit wearying. Those who have read the previous three books will enjoy seeing how the family drama is playing out. Fantasy fans who gravitate to character-driven stories over action-oriented ones will likely be fully engaged with Barrett's expanding world.

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