The Battle Sylphby L.J. McDonald
Series: Sylph #1
Published on March 1, 2010 by Leisure Books
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
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He is one of many: a creature of magic, unrelentingly male. He is lured through the portal by pure female beauty, a virgin sacrifice. She is killed, and he is silenced and enslaved.
Such a dark ritual is necessary. Unlike their elemental cousins—those gentler sylphs of wind and fire—battlers find no joy in everyday labor. Their magic can destroy an army or demolish a castle, and each has but one goal: find his queen, then protect and pleasure her at any cost. What would a maiden do if she were given such a servant? What would befall that kingdom foolish enough to allow a battler to escape? Young Solie and the people of Eferem are about to find out.
I was hesitant to read this book at first. I don’t favor male PoVs and thought this one would be like that. However, I’m thoroughly glad I ignored that feeling and read The Battle Sylph anyway. The story changes PoVs between a young woman, Solie, who is taken as a sacrifice for a battle sylph, and her soon-to-be battler, Heyou. It also explores other characters, both human and sylph alike, which I found captivating.
This book kept me drawn in from the first word. McDonald’s way to giving mystery to already suspenseful scenes was borderline masterful. But the novel wasn’t all serious and action. There are several moments of comedic relief between Solie and her very faithful (and lustful) sylph that give the characters life. It’s easy to track their development over the course of the story. Solie, a peasant girl from a tiny village grows into the queen Heyou sees her as, taking a place of leadership among the outcast Community. Heyou is born with an instinct to hate men, but we see him change too.
McDonald gives a new spin to fantasy. Never before have I read about creatures like her sylphs. Overall, I would recommend this book to teens and older who are looking for a good epic fantasy.