Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland is one of those books that I never would have discovered if my fellow book bloggers didn’t post reviews of it online. I’ve seen Lynn Kurland’s books in local bookstores but mostly in the romance section and I believe she writes historical romances that involve time travel. I was thrilled to find out that she has her own romantic fantasy series and of course, I was willing to give it a try. I’m a huge fan of epic fantasy and sword-wielding heroines.
Here’s the summary from Lynn Kurland’s website:
Darkness covers the north, since the black mage has begun his assault on the kingdom of Neroche. Legend has it that only the two magical swords held by Neroche’s king can defeat the mage. Now the fate of the Nine Kingdoms rests in the hands of a woman destined to wield one of those blades… In this land of dragons and mages, warrior maids and magical swords, nothing is as it seems. And Morgan will find that the magic in her blood brings her troubles she cannot face with a sword – and a love more powerful than she has ever imagined.
Morgan is a skilled mercenary who hates anything magic-related. When she’s tasked by a former guardian to deliver a dagger brimming with magic to the King of Neroche, she has no choice but to swallow her distaste and accomplish the task as soon as she can. She’s aided in her quest by fellow mercenaries and a handsome but arrogant man named Adhemar and his equally handsome but more subdued brother, Miach. Along the way, Morgan learns more about herself as she’s plagued by dreams and nightmares that she doesn’t understand. Poor Morgan, doesn’t trust magic and yet during her travels, she has to deal with it more and more.
I had high expectations for this book because of all the positive reviews and I’ve been on a fantasy kick lately but Star of the Morning ended up just okay for me. As always, I don’t like giving lukewarm reviews but I really can’t help how I feel, you know? I’m not exactly sure why I didn’t enjoy reading this as much as I expected because I really liked Morgan and Miach as characters and although Adhemar was annoying, it never went over the top. I feel like Morgan’s quest took on longer than it should and the ending seemed abrupt as a result. Maybe I should have been prepared for an incomplete story and I should have planned to read the books in the Nine Kingdoms series one right after the other to better appreciate the world more. It did have its moments – the writing is very accessible, there were some amusing situations, the characters had depth and the romance was well-developed. I just feel like the worldbuilding wasn’t as strong as I would’ve liked in a fantasy novel. Still, I will probably pick up the next books in the series because I’m curious what happens next to Morgan. I’m just not really excited to read the rest of the books. If you’re a romantic fantasy fan, you should give this a try and let me know what you think. Who knows, you might like it a lot more that I did.