umblemishedAuthor: Sara Ella

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: October 11, 2016

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Eliyana can’t stand to look at herself and doesn’t know how anyone in this world can either. She is about to find out that many will see her blemish, not as a weakness, but as a strength.  It just won’t be in the world as she knows it!

Eliyana keeps to herself, she has for as long as she can remember. Half of her face is covered with a birthmark that she despises.  She lives with her mother, a reclusive artist that refuses to have either of their pictures taken or displayed for others to see.  She is fine keeping to herself until her new neighbor, Joshua hopes over the fence and they become fast friends, and if Eliayana had her way, even more than that.  He treats her as if she is normal and seems to not see her blemish.  She starts to believe someone could actually love her.  When her mother doesn’t come home one night, she starts to wonder if something more is going on than she is aware of.  She learns that the world she lives in is not the only one out there.  Together with Joshua, who she learns is actually her guardian, they set out to save not only her mother but many, many more.

I love a good YA story. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one.  If you aren’t paying attention, the story will get away from you and you will find yourself completely lost.  But if you do follow closely, you will find yourself transported to a new world with Kings, traitors, and a plan so diabolical not everyone will make it out alive.  The characters had so much growth I had to remind myself that this was one story, not the second or third in a series.  I don’t know if this will be the beginning of a new series but I can certainly see it going in that direction.  There was a lot left to be answered and I’m hoping that means there is more to the story coming soon.  It would have been very easy to let Eliayana play the damsel in distress the entire story but I’m glad it didn’t turn out that way.  She held her own and showed that there was more to her than the blemish everyone tried not to look at.  The end had several good twists that left me pondering what these characters might be up to.  The story flowed smoothly and kept my interest throughout.  A job well done.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

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