Aveline leads a desolate and isolated life in a small village with her father and brother. Behind closed doors she feels imprisoned by the abusive life she is forced to lead and clings on to the wisps of happier memories as though they could fly away. Living in a world where everything slips easily through her fingers, what will it take for Aveline to spread her own wings and fly? Can she become strong enough to face what is to come and combat the darkness sweeping beyond her small, lonely world? Herveus lives in the shadows, collecting stains on his soul. He has taken lives to protect someone, leaving him feeling indifferent, but what will happen to him when he is forced to step into the light? When Aveline finds herself in trouble a disgruntled Herveus is left with no choice but to come to her rescue. Little does he know she might just become his savior.
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I entered this story with an air of curiosity and intrigue, not knowing what to expect, but like all books, I expect very little to begin with. This is a trait of mine, developed from years of personal strife and loneliness. If I do not have High Expectations, then I cannot be so bitterly disappointed. However, The Bound: Hers to Save, as with the Harry Potter series and my favourite author of all time Brandon Sanderson's novels. This book had taught me, not to enter such things with such a negative attitude.
The Bound begins *No spoilers I promise* with an abused and broken heroine, which immediately caught my attention. As an author myself, I love reading about strong women, rising up from adversity and growing more and more with each turn of the page. However, Aveline's world is so dark and cruel I began to wonder if this would ever happen.
For the first three chapters of this novel I began to actually fear for Aveline, for her father is such a veil and disdainful man, that I actually began to 'hate' him. Which is a very rare sense of mind for me, and I credit Michelle Connor for being able to stir such a powerful emotion in me.
Then one final act of wickedness breaks our heroine completely.
I nearly gave up at that point, the author breeding such an air of hopelessness and submission in Aveline that I (a person who loves strong female characters) actually thought she wasn't going to grow a back bone and be a good little slave for the rest of her life. This is a 'Very' rare sense of readership for me, as I felt I knew Aveline already in such a short introduction to her character. Thus is the skill of this amazing author.
But! Like all good stories. All good heroines. All good heroes throughout both antiquity and in the modern age. It is when you are at your lowest point, that you either find the strength to buck up. Or you buckle beneath the weight.
Aveline. Does not buckle.
Aveline has her fears. Her concerns when her strength empowers her to flee from cruelty. But she knows this is the only way. The only way she can be happy. Even with regards to her younger brother, who she so clearly loves. Though she knows he too had begun to be just as cruel and abusive as her father.
You feel Aveline’s fear of leaving in the pages of this book, depicted with the authors skill of wording, and the ambiance of the world as she struggles to understand what she is to do, or where she is to begin in her new life.
The story grows all the more complex as Aveline finds her first friend, her future companion waiting indistinctly in the darkness though her attitude towards him at the opening meeting made me chuckle with delight and disbelief.
She and Iolaus, gain ground on their ventures with thrilling danger and epic consequences in a tale that is so expertly spun it keeps you guessing from page to page.
The Bound is truly a great piece of Epic Fantasy, which is both rich enough to keep someone as vividly read as me entertained, all the while being stout enough in size and length to make for an enjoyable commuter companion, or if you are on Audible it is great for a trip away to keep you company, or if you just want a thrilling tale to listen to when wondering in your day to day lives.
There is something here that will please both hardcore fantasy readers, and casual fans of the genre who are looking for their next big pleasure.
I am so pleased I found this novel and have instantly become a fan of Michelle Connor and am waiting patiently, but expectantly, for the next chapter in the series.