Blaise’s storytelling and worldbuilding combines a delightful whimsy with gripping action. Lilla spends much of this adventure on the run from dangerous animals with alien names like “k’boar,” “k’mountain lion,” or “bear-wolves” (“Not k’bear-wolves?” “The k is silent”). Her motley group of friends and companions are also a joy, and despite the main quest featuring no fewer than eight party members (including two former love interests), distinct and interesting personalities make them each stand out. From the grumpy warrior lady to the softhearted yet feisty healer to the know-it-all mage, the only character that doesn’t prove especially engaging is Callum, the current boyfriend, whose chief traits here are mostly anger and jealousy. Still, Callum is not present for a large chunk of the story, which gives the ensemble a chance to shine.
The plot itself exhibits a tendency familiar from other second entries in series: it ends in about the same place it began and feels, at times, like an optional side quest chosen as an opportunity to introduce lore and develop characters, which are this installment’s selling points. Although technically not YA, True Teryn has a lot of crossover appeal for readers of romantic science fiction with comic elements.
Takeaway: Charming and witty, this science fantasy sequel will please readers with its unique world and memorable characters.
Great for fans of: Amie Kauffman, Dianne Duvall’s Aldebarian Alliance series.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B
True Teryn is a Winner in Science Fiction category at the Speak Up Talk Radio Firebird Book Award.
True Teryn is a Winner in Book Cover Design-Fiction and Distinguished Favorite in the Fantasy category at the Independent Press Award.
True Teryn is an Honorable Mention in the Science Fiction category at the Los Angeles Book Festival.