Series: Elements of Cadence #1
Release Date: February 3rd 2022
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Enchantments run deep on the magical Isle of Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind, plaid shawls can be as strong as armour, and the smallest cut of a knife can instill fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that live there find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home, but that mischief turns to malevolence as girls begin to go missing.
Adaira, heiress of the east, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, enticing them to return the missing girls. But there’s only one bard capable of drawing the spirits forth by song: her childhood enemy Jack Tamerlaine.
He hasn’t stepped foot on Cadence in ten long years, content to study music at the mainland university, but as Jack and Adaira reluctantly work together it becomes apparent the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than first thought and an older, darker secret lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.
A River Enchanted is the first in an all new fantasy duology from Rebecca Ross, author of The Queen Rising. The story follows Jack Tamerlaine, once a resident of the isle of Cadence, he has left that life behind to become a musician at the university on the mainland. When Jack is mysteriously summoned back to Cadence by his laird, he has no choice but to go. Jack returns home to discover that young girls are going missing and no one can figure out where they have gone. Jack’s old nemesis Adaira believes the spirits are taking them and only a bard can save the girls. Jack and Adaira will have to put aside old feelings and work together to uncover the truth.
A River Enchanted is a really intriguing story and I thought the premise was a really captivating idea. I was fascinated by the Scottish mythology elements in this and it felt like the story was well researched. I was really interested in the magic and world-building in this and it is definitely something I hope we get to see a bit more of in book two. The story is well-paced, with the tension increasing as the story progressed. This is my first book from Rebecca Ross and I really enjoyed her writing style. I did think the book felt more YA than adult, despite centering on older characters.
The story does have some surprise moments I wasn’t expecting and I am looking forward to seeing where the story goes in book two. I really liked the main characters, each trying to find their place on Cadence. Normally with fantasy stories, there are one or two characters I am more interested in but I was really engrossed in the story of all the characters. I did think this was going to be a five-star read but I wasn’t a massive fan of the romance. I felt like it needed a bit more tension to make it believable that they were once enemies. Despite this A River Enchanted is a beautifully told story and I am definitely going to pick up book two.