Featured Review: Wardens of Eternity (Courtney Allison Moulton)
About This Book:
Ziva Ellison has one memory of her parents, made the day they abandoned her on the streets of New York City when she was three years old. They left her with only a memory and a promise that she had a great and terrible destiny.
Fifteen years later, Ziva discovers that destiny includes powers that she doesn’t understand and can barely control. Her magic attracts vicious, otherworldly monsters, and eventually compatriots to help her fight them. Sayer and Nasira know the secrets Ziva doesn’t; that Ziva is descended from Egyptian royalty and in possession of ancient magic passed down from the time of the gods. They promise to teach Ziva to control her magic and to give her the family she’s always yearned for.
But trouble is brewing in the world around them; darkness is descending on Hitler’s Germany, threatening World War II. As the last heir of a revered Egyptian queen, Ziva is the only one with the power to prevent another costly global conflict. As Ziva navigates her newfound abilities and makes a connection with Anubis and other Egyptian gods, the Nazis are hunting for the ultimate weapon, and Ziva has caught their interest.
From Courtney Allison Moulton, author of the acclaimed Angelfire series, comes Wardens of Eternity, an action-packed page-turner that blends history, mythology, and magic, perfect for fans of Rick Riordan and Kiersten White.
*Review Contributed By Olivia Farr Staff Reviewer*
WARDENS OF ETERNITY follows Ziva, a young woman who was abandoned as a toddler, became a ward of the state, and is now making her own way by working in a factory. Ziva carries magical powers that she does not fully understand, but she only uses them in self-defense. However, one day, a confrontation with some beasts leads to her learning that there are others like her- a group that she once belonged to with her parents.
As she travels with these new companions, she learns that there are much bigger forces at play- particularly those gods/goddesses of Ancient Egypt. Ziva has a destiny that must be fulfilled and she must learn quickly to protect herself and the people around her.
What I loved: This story is quite creative, and I loved the historical fantasy setting (set around 1938 and the beginnings of WWII) plus the other tidbits about life in the 30s/finding work, and racism. This seemed really unique from these perspectives, and some interesting discussions about racism and societal shifts around this add good perspectives to the book. For instance, the questions of where are you from, people with not-white skin being viewed as outsiders, and other similar things. These are discussed when they pop up, and I felt that this was handled in a way that can bring attention to these issues, which are still present today.
What left me wanting more: The fantasy part felt a little forced, and I understood Ziva's powers as well as she does at the start. Additionally, the book is in the first person perspective, but I did not feel that we really entered Ziva's mind. For the most part, the book could have been third person without any true insight or delving into her psyche. Conversation was often stilted and things happen very fast with slow pauses inbetween, making the pacing a little awkward. I also didn't fully understand why she is so quick to trust some and not others.
Final verdict: WARDENS OF ETERNITY shows a lot of potential with an interesting premise that would be interesting to continue. The historical setting is particularly well done, and Egyptian mythology was very well researched with lots for the readers to learn throughout. I would recommend for fans of Cassandra Clare's THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS.
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