Shining Mara Rutherford // Book Review – Simone and Her Books

And what if you had the power of a star to hide it for a very long time? And what if you finally figured out how to use it to know how expensive it can be? And what if you knew if you consumed too much, you could do what the stars do and burn? Well, this story dives into a world where a young girl unleashes the power of her stars to understand both the pros and cons of magic. Thanks to Inkyard Press for donating the book.


Liora has been hiding all her life, knowing that the discovery could mean he becomes the victim of Darius, the king’s wizard of war, who uses magic magic for his power. But when her worst nightmare comes true, Darius doesn’t accept it. Instead, he demands that her younger sister return to the capital with him. Worse, Evran, Liora’s childhood friend and the only one who knows her secret, disappears after Darius ’visit and leaves no one to turn to.

To find Evran and save her sister, Liora must embrace the power she has always feared. But the biggest danger she will face is yet to come, as Darius has plans to make the world fall into chaos, and Liora and Evran may be the only ones who can stop it.

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my thoughts

It was a very quick reading with lots of action and adventure, romance and great solutions for young people that all cover less than 400 pages. It features powerful magicians, horrible monsters, a balance between good and evil, and lots of conversation about how to be a young person. It was so fast that I read it in a few days without much stopping to pick up the air. It was so wrapped between the two covers that I was surprised it was a separate story.

And honestly, no matter how much I like to read more self-contained fantasy books, I wish it would be longer and possibly expand into a duology. There is so much in this book that if there was room to get into it, I think it would have been even better. But since it was separate, it seemed to me that much of it had been omitted or truncated to fit into the running time. I am sincerely disappointed that this is just a stand-alone tool, as a larger series, even a duology, would have answered all the questions in more detail, given you the space to really breathe and make you really fall in love with all the different characters. The potential is there and it really encouraged me to continue reading, but it took space for it to be fully realized and much stronger.

Much of this story seems to be about Lorialis removing the veil of self-ignorance to understand its magical power, how it works, and how it was hidden from what should be natural to her. While there were other things that involved readers in the book, such as Lusiri, the magical abyss created by Margana, the fact that part of the royal family was woven into life, the abuse of magic in governing Darius, and the political intrigue of Darius. it all has to do with Lorial and what she is experiencing and feeling. All of these things were as compelling a book as the bigger whole, but it all ended so suddenly. It almost seemed that the rest of the story was just a magufin of true history; a young girl who has been sheltered all her life, learning the truth of her magic, her family, and realizing what she can do.

And in many ways, that makes history more of a next-century story among fantasy books. Honestly, it could have been a modern YA roaming story with how it was read. He was more focused on Evran and Lorial, and I have no problem with that, but I wanted the other parts to be given the same attention as this couple. I also loved the other characters presented in the story very much and would like them to contribute more to the story. But I didn’t think it hurt history that they weren’t bigger parts.

Many of the relationships between Lorial, Darius and Evran felt like Alina, Mal and The Darkling from Shadow and bone. I know it’s going to be a huge train for people who enjoyed the show and the books, and I really enjoyed the romantic parts of the book, but again, I really wanted more. I was also baffled by Darius ’motives. In reading earlier, I thought maybe he was manipulating to get what he wanted. It was also before I found out it was a separate series, so when I finally found out about Darius ’motives and what a villain he was, I was even more confused. I kept thinking it was all some bigger plot, but it didn’t turn out that way. I just finished reading that part with a big “aha”.

Another part that I’m not a big fan of is Lorial’s Mary Sue abilities. It didn’t deprive me of history too much, but it’s really hard to believe that someone who only learns about their powers has more abilities than someone who has been training for over 100 years. It makes you stop and think about how it might be, and it always ends with what I think of when reading a story.

Overall, it was a good book and I really liked how fast the book was. I enjoyed the use of magic and Lorial’s adventures. I even enjoyed her and Evran’s novel and seeing how Lorial gains so much pride and confidence before she travels to find herself. But I had too many flaws to go unnoticed, no matter how much I loved the world and wanted to get more into it. It definitely had the potential to be great, but I just didn’t make it.