Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.
Relic is a thrilling adventure set in a wholly unique world, and a spell-binding story of love, trust, and the power of good.
Relics are the paranormal part of this story, and Maggie has always been fascinated by them. They are very expensive so not many people can own them. Relics are pieces of magical creatures (like fossils) that used to exist, such as unicorns and dragons. Each relic can be used to fuel a certain type of magic (e.g. fire, water, earth). We are introduced to this idea with the use of a unicorn horn in Maggie’s hands to heal. Some relics have more magic left in them than others. Maggie appears to have a special skill with relics and she has always been fascinated with them. Alvar takes a special interest in her because of this.
A lot of the book is Maggie being concerned about being seen as a lady and not as a prostitute or a woman of loose morals. She is a little obsessed with this idea, perhaps because it was drilled into her head by her mother before her death. Apparently, prostitution is one of the only jobs available to young women at that time (in the book). I’m not sure how true that is. Anyway, Maggie is offered a job to help with serving and cleaning at the brothel Alvar owns. There she meets Adelaide, one of the “working girls” there. Adelaide also has a cowboy fiancé and that fiancé has a friend, Landon. I wasn’t really buying Maggie and Adelaide’s friendship, as Maggie seems to want very little to do with Adelaide, but I guess when you are practically alone, you need someone who cares about you, and this is what they are to each other. I would label them as more of acquaintances.
A bit of a love triangle emerges between Maggie, Landon, and Yahn, but not really. It felt a little forced and awkward, as did most of Maggie’s relationships (friends or otherwise). Maggie seemed a little abstract as a person and I had trouble pinning her character down/understanding her. For that reason, this book fell a little short for me. Additionally, it moves very, very slowly, and I had a hard time really getting into the storyline. Maggie is kind of trying to figure out who started the fire that killed most of her family- but mostly (it seemed to me) just wandering through life and trying to be seen as a proper lady. It felt a little flat to me. However, that being said, the world creation was really interesting and unique- I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like this combination of wild west and magic.
Overall, it was a unique and intriguing book. I’d give it 3.5 stars, but I am rounding up to 4. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
I don't totally remember requesting this book from the publishers, but I received it irregardless and decided to go ahead and read and review it for the hell of it. The cover was pretty, the synopsis was intriguing, who wouldn't give it a gander?
The story takes place in the 1800s and opens on the tragic scene of Maggie and her siblings running from the blazes that are swallowing their little town whole. Their parents had been away so Maggie, the oldest at only sixteen, was left in charge. In the midst of the blaze, Maggie and her seven-year-old sister, Ella, must face the big bad world having lost everything from love ones to worldly possessions. Maggie and her sister are rescued from the fires by a young Apache warrior for Maggie's past and deposited at a mission to get back on their feet. Maggie gets a job in a saloon waiting tables and cleaning up after rowdy men. She accepts that she will not be able to provide anything but a meager existence for her baby sister.
While dwelling on the sorrow of her lost family and the fate that has befallen her sister and herself, Maggie takes a quiet moment to vent her sadness. It is there where she meets the handsome cowboy, Landon. For some reason, the two total opposites find mutual ground and start forming a friendship that slowly and assurdly grows deeper.
Unfortunately, Landon is not the only one who has his sights set on Maggie. Álvar, the richest and most powerful man in Burning Mesa, also has plans for Maggie. After helping her out of a dire situation he convinces her to stay in his hacienda with him so he may fine tune her affinity for the relics. Maggie is not stupid enough to go into the compromise without some weariness, but she has to do what is best for her baby sister.
As the burnings start up again, Maggie attempts to extract herself from the life of finery she has become accustomed to and find the perpetrators. Little does she know that it could be someone she could very well have trusted at one time or another.
This book read like a fantasy book twisted with a western. The western theme was alive and well throughout the book, even down to the turmoil between the "cowboys" and "indians". While it was intriguing and completely unique, for some reason it didn't pull me in as much as most books do. When main characters die (which a lot seem to do), I did not cry. I just flipped the page and kept on reading. However, that does not mean that I didn't like the book. At every mystery and slight suspicion I had my guesses well rooted in my mind and almost all of the time I was wrong. I thought the story would end one way and it went a completely different route. In this case, I love when I am wrong. Adds a dash of greatness to the book.
Relic combines the gritty, rough-and-tumble feel of a western with the whimsical, mystifying world of fantasy. It brings it's reader into a new world that is also a world from our past. A historical fantasy that will delight readers in almost every genre.
Review Posted on: http://www.ladybugliterature.blogspot.com