Elixir Bound by Katie L. Carroll
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Neither is the Quest trope, but Katie Carroll does manage to get past the cliches with sympathetic characters and a world just a breath away from our own.
Katora learns she's the designated keeper of a healing elixir, but it's not so easy as just taking the bottle, and saying "Okay, Pop. I'll take it from here." She's got to go on a long and dangerous journey into the wilderness to find the flowers that make the elixir. To make sure this isn't easy, she'll have to face a wicked witch with her three horsemen of the apocalypse, a bunch of vicious tiny people (not dwarves, but teeny, tiny people with sharp little swords), and other dangers. Why else would there be a quest, after all, if it wasn't hard to do?
While Ms. Carroll doesn't break much new ground here, what she does present is a good read. Katora might be a little too involved in the love interest for my taste. I mean, really, getting all hot and bothered when on the equivalent of the Donner party trek? So, less kissy face and more danger for this reader. Then again, I'm not the target audience.
I'm really at a 3.5 stars on this one, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt. I'm interested enough to see what Katora is up to in a sequel.
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