The Compulsive Reader: Mistwood by Leah Cypess

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mistwood by Leah Cypess

Isabel is the Shifter, a legendary mystical being who can take many forms and is sworn to protect the king of Samorna and his family. But every so often, she leaves court to reside in Mistwood, the mysterious woods that are her origin, until her aid is needed in Samorna once more. When the young king Rokan comes to Isabel in Mistwood, she follows him back to court...but this time is different. She can't remember who she is, how her powers work, or the circumstances that drove her away from court ten years ago. As the weeks slip by, it's glaringly obvious that something terrible happened, and in remembering the truth, Isabel will have to test her loyalty and discover who she truly is.

Mistwood is a thoughtful and suspenseful novel with plenty of mystery that will keep readers guessing. The concept of the Shifter and her duties is a clever and interesting one, and though it would have been nice to learn more about the legends surrounding Isabel past and existence, the story is entertaining as Cypess slowly reveals who and what Isabel is and what her abilities are throughout the book. Isabel herself is a complex and dynamic character, and her grapple with her identity and loyalty is what makes Mistwood so absorbing. King Rokan is a good supporting character as well; his determination and earnest nature are admirable, and will win readers over quickly, but the sly and duplicitous nature of his sister Clarisse will have them on the edge of their seats.

The story takes places mainly in the royal palace, and the plot has a lot to do with the politics of the land and the royal family, and not actually Samorna itself, which makes this fictional world seem a little underdeveloped, and Cypess glosses over many aspects in the story. However, the constantly shifting powers and the mystery regarding Isabel's lost memories easily keeps the plot moving and the reader entertained. Mistwood winds down with a few surprising twists and a conclusion that will leave everyone content. This is an engaging and imaginative debut.

Cover Comments: I like this cover a lot! Truth be told, I like any covers in which there is a castle on it, and the image of the woman with the unnatural eyes is very good! I think this is a pretty cover without being too soft. Very nice!

ARC received from publisher.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I am very excited to read MISTWOOD.

Rhiannon Hart said...

This one sounds absolutely gorgeous! Can't wait to get this one.

Ace and Eliz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ace and Eliz said...

Looks awesome! Just wanted to let you and all of your followers know that my friend Eliz and I are doing a book club blog. We call ourselves the Book Bloggers and you should check it out. This month we are doing Wings and Spells by Aprilynne Pike. Our summer theme is Read It Before You See It. Thanks for listening!

Addy & Harry said...

I was so excited for Mistwood to come out, and I just barely passed up buying it at the store the other day. I really wish I hadn't now.
Awesome review!

If you have time, please check out our blog too! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I read this yesterday, and I honestly hoped it would be good. I enjoyed it until I got towards the end. The ending just didn't do it for me. The suspense and the mystery building up was so very good!!.. and then I got to the end and I don't know.. somehow it just didn't satisfy me. Okay read though.