Twins raised far from the darkness are the key to Gaai's salvation. Turning eighteen is the highlight of every teenager's life. Or at least it is for Wendy and her twin sister DeeDee. When their adoptive parents gift them with medallions belonging to their late mother, they have no idea their lives are about to change. Their happy day takes a deadly turn when Wendy is lured into the forest surrounding their home by a deceitful voice. Saved by an alluring, green-eyed stranger, questions are brought to light that she may not want the answers to. The girls are descendants of Gaai, a land of ancient magic. Once peaceful and thriving, is now enslaved by a powerful enemy. Though Wendy and DeeDee were sent to Earth to be raised far from the darkness that shrouds their home world, they must now return to unite their people.
I don’t even know where to begin. This story was amazing. Lela created an outstanding world and rich story. The beginning took time to divulge into the main plot but it didn’t feel like it dragged. We were able to get the connection to the sisters to invest in their adventure. Wendy and DeeDee’s story quickly picks up after their birthday party when Wendy is attacked in the forest. The history of their lives and the connection they establish to the other survivors is exciting. It is really hard to write about how amazing everything is without giving away the story even though I devoured this whole book. There were so many interesting aspects of the book that really made me want to keep going and learn about this world so similar to ours.
While the story was rich and full of adventure, it was truly the characters that stole me. Everything about every character I loved. Their dynamic with each other was truly one of the best I have read. Wendy, the practical one, compliments her sister DeeDee, the jokester, perfectly. The way they interacted with each other, their adoptive parents, and even their best friends made me want to be a part of their inner circle. There were so many times in the books I have laughed out loud because I couldn’t contain it. I connected with them so easily and was truly invested in their well being.
I just gushed over the story and the characters of this book so why did I only give it 4 stars? The first part of the book was flawless. The pacing was set perfectly, the characters personality had me hooked, and the buildup was phenomenal. Then, we get halfway done and we get a different point of view. Then another. Then all of the sudden I am reading from DeeDee’s point of view instead of Wendy’s even though they were still together. This truly threw me off. There was a great buildup and then I felt like it was halted during this abrupt change. It took me a minute to register the other point of views then to adjust reading from DeeDee’s point of view. There was no introduction early on in the book of a change in perspective so this really threw me off. Once I got used to DeeDee’s view, I was able to get the rhythm back but this sorely hurt the pacing of the book. I don’t mind different point of views but this felt unnecessary and I did not like the change.
Overall, Areion by Lela Grayce is a must read for fantasy lovers. I absolutely adored this book with its unique and rich story. The characters were outstanding with some of the best dynamic I have read. While halfway through the book their is an abrupt point of view change and does affect the pacing a little, it is rewarding in the end. I highly recommend this book if you love magic, dark rulers, and adventure.