March 2, 2020

Havenfall Blog Tour: Review

Havenfall (Havenfall #1)
Author: Sara Holland
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
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A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it--at any cost. New York Times bestselling author Sara Holland crafts a breathtaking new contemporary fantasy perfect for fans of Melissa Albert and Holly Black.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds--each with their own magic--together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie's brother. It's where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it's where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens--a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She'll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she's letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie--no one can be trusted, and no one is safe . . .

Sara Holland takes the lush fantasy that captured readers in Everless and Evermore and weaves it into the real world to create a wholly captivating new series where power and peril lurk behind every door.
Havenfall is the first book in a new young adult fantasy duology that has a bit of something for everyone. After reading the description, I was dying to read it. I've read the author's other books and really enjoyed them, so I had pretty high hopes and expectations going in. Thankfully, I can say that (for me) it was everything I had hoped for and more. Although there were some aspects of the story that were predictable, I still really enjoyed reading it.

The characters were pretty complex, especially Maddie, our main character. She's had a traumatic past that continues to haunt her constantly and her only refuge and place that feels like home is Havenfall. Maddie was easy for me to connect and empathize with right from the beginning. I thought that she was realistic - she has her strengths, flaws, and issues just like the rest of us - and doesn't try to hide them. The other major characters were pretty well rounded and I enjoyed getting to know each of them - who they are, their pasts, any secrets they had, how their relationships with other characters changed throughout the book. There is definitely a romantic aspect to the story which normally bothers me because it always feels like it overshadows the true plot of the book. This wasn't the case with this story though. Maddie is bisexual (I think?) and a sort of love triangle develops throughout the book. I liked watching each of these relationships change and grow and what it revealed about each of the characters.

The world building was amazing - just as I knew it would be. I was immediately swept up into Maddie's world and the magic at Havenfall. The author described with so much detail and vivid imagery that I felt like I was there myself alongside Maddie. I loved learning about Havenfall, its history and secrets; the other realms with their histories, people, and landscapes; and everything in between. I hope we get to learn even more about all of these things in the next book because I was completely fascinated by it all.

The last thing I want to mention is the writing style. The story is told from the first person point of view, from Maddie's perspective. This is my favorite writing style and I'm so glad that the author decided to write the story this way. I honestly don't think I would have liked it so much if it hadn't been written in the first person. I really got to connect with Maddie during the story which is something I really love and value when it comes to reading. The closer I feel to the narrator, the more lost inside their world I can become and feel like I'm actually there experiencing everything alongside them. That was what the author did with this book and I loved it. I can't wait to see what will happen in the next book and where it will take us. I recommend this to fans of YA, fantasy, paranormal, and romance, and those who like diverse characters.

Sara Holland grew up in small-town Minnesota among hundreds of books. She graduated from Wesleyan University and worked in a tea shop, a dentist’s office, and a state capitol building before heading to New York to work in publishing. These days, she can be found exploring the city’s bookstores or finding new ways to put caffeine in her bloodstream. EVERLESS is her debut novel.

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