*Image courtesy of Amazon.
Lily and Sebastian Blackmoor are twins with an absentee father and a drunk mother. Lily is relentlessly bullied in high school by a girl named Piper. Life ain't exactly looking up. But Lily has a secret, she's been training in magic. Her cat, Blink, is actually a humanoid tiger that takes her to a secret grove and helps her train her natural magic abilities. It turns out, she and her brother are not human and are from the world of Rood'ravil. Of course, getting there is going to require a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice. Surviving in Rood'ravil will take even more.
I picked up this book for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that it has a big, smiling owl on its cover. The author promised a new kind of fantasy adventure and I am a sucker for the fantasy genre. Despite me being hit-or-miss with teenage protagonists, I did enjoy this book.
This is a long book. I actually had to take a break about half way through to move on to other things, but I was happy to get back to it. After the break, though, book read a lot faster. Also, there were several noticeable editing errors. At one point one character is credited with a line of dialogue, despite not being anywhere near the conversation. They do interrupt the flow of the book, but do not stop it.
The world created by Skwara is quite interesting. The various races and politics involved make me want to read a history of the place, get a better feel for how the races developed. You get some good information about it in the exposition, but it's barely the tip of the iceberg. Of course, the exposition and the action scenes emphasize that the world of Rood'ravil is not for all readers. There is a lot of blood and violence.
Skwara's characters are also easy to empathize with, especially Mark, Amanda and Ricky; the characters that never asked to be caught up in Lily and Sebastian's adventure. There are a lot of emotional gut-wrenchers in this book, but it just made the read that much better.
I do recommend this book if you're looking for dark fantasy adventure. You may need to take it in strides, but I felt that Numinous was well worth the time put into it.