I was contacted by the author Lisa Lagaly to review her first book in the series about Rabiah. Rabiah: The Gift is a fantasy story about (obviously) Rabiah, she’s the daughter of the head of her clan, she’s a fighter and is the best at what she does. Tristan is the son of the king of her enemy, the heir to the throne. Then the two of them find themselves in battle, this is where the story begins.
Rabiah: The Gift by Lisa Lagaly
Rabiah is a simple Clan girl. Giftless, friendless, but talented with weapons. She fights and dresses like a boy. Defeated in battle, she prepares herself for death. It doesn’t come. Instead, she finds herself in a position she never imagined tied heart and soul to the enemy. It is not easy being a Princess in a country where Clanspeople are slaves, you’ve suddenly developed strange powers, and someone will do anything to put his own daughter on the throne, even make deals with demons.
First of, obviously this book is a romance novel. I don’t usually read romance novels, but because it wasn’t very clear from the synopsis that it was, I did give it a try. And actually, I’m really glad that I did! I don’t usually enjoy romance but this one was somehow different, it was incredibly fun and enjoyable to read. I found myself reading with a big smile on my face almost the entire time.
The relationship in this book starts off very strangely, and it completely threw me off and from the first page I got drawn into the story and I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen next. I guess I could tell you the start because it’s only the first few pages, but I’d like to keep it a mystery, because I’d hope you’d feel the same way as I did.
The characters charmed me from the second I met them and during the book that love only grew. Rabiah is an incredibly strong female character, she has this calmness to her, I can’t really explain. She definitely stands apart as a character, she looks different and has a different background than the other characters, but she stays true to herself, and I can only admire that. In the beginning, I thought Tristan was an idiot (and to be honest, he is a little), but he is a caring and honest person, who is willing to do anything for the ones he loves and for the kingdom.
Beside the main characters, who were obviously awesome, the side characters were even better. Especially Owen, Owen is just the best. Owen is Tristan’s friend and he’s funny and kind and above all not afraid to tell Tristan he’s an idiot. While writing this I just couldn’t help but smile, and that says a lot.
The story takes place in a world where the clans are fighting the kingdom (which’s name I forgot), there’s a war going on, which was really interesting to see. The world has magical aspects, which were really cool. There were healers and magical bonds and demons.
As much as I loved this book, there were some minor points I didn’t like. The most important one being the insta-love. As much as I hate it normally, this time it wasn’t that annoying, I actually kind of liked it?? Strange… but still I would have loved to see more development of the relationship. The second thing was the build-up of tension, during the first third, I got really into the story and there was a lot happening, during the second part, that action/tension suddenly went down a lot. There was a lot of meeting people and things like that, but it felt like it wasn’t working towards anything anymore. During the last part, luckily, they returned to that build-up of tension that I loved so much during the first part.
Overall, I’m giving this book 4 stars, which is because it was such a joy to read. It made me feel all happy and gushy, and though there were things that were less amazing, those were only minor things for me. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves this type of fantasy. It reminded me a little of The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson, because of the strong main character, the magic system and the world it was set in. It has a similar vibe to The Remnant Chronicles, so if you liked those books I would recommend you’d check this one out!
**I received this book in exchange for a review from the author (so thank you!), this did not influence my opinions in any way**