The Island by S. Usher Evans
Published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing on April 26, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 260 Format: ARC Source: Author
Prince Galian is third in line to the throne, but prefers his place as a resident at the Royal Kylaen Hospital. When his father urges him to join the military to help reclaim their colony, Galian is forced to put aside his oath to Do No Harm and fight a war he does not believe in.
Across the great Madion Sea, Captain Theo Kallistrate dreams of a day when she is no longer bound by conscription to fight for her country’s independence. But when the Kylaens threaten, honor and duty call her to the front lines to fight off the oppressors.
When an air skirmish goes wrong, both Theo and Galian crash on a remote island hundreds of miles from either nation. Grievously injured, Theo must rely on Galian’s medical expertise, and Galian must rely on Theo’s survival skills, to live another day in a harsh and unforgiving terrain.
Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive? Or will the war that brought them to the island tear them apart?
I received this ARC from the author in a giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Island by S. Usher Evans, the first book in her new fantasy romance series The Madion War Trilogy, starts off with just the right amount of intrigue, action, and character driven storytelling to draw the reader in and make them long for the second installment. Wrecked on an island and on opposite sides of the war between Kylae and Rave, Galian and Theo must do what it takes to survive against all odds.
I find survival stories so fascinating. The desire and courage it takes to live despite the odds piling up against someone is inspiring and it makes for a gripping narrative. It’s why I was so immersed in Galian and Theo’s plight. They relied on each others’ strengths to cover their own weaknesses despite their enemy status and go on to build a semblance of life in an uninhabited place.
A majority of this book is spent on the island of course but Evans does an excellent job of conveying the wider world and politics of Kylae and Rave throughout the story. There isn’t any info dumps, just bits and pieces of history sprinkled along the way to paint the bigger picture. Even the camping and survival elements of the story felt extremely real and plausible like skinning a rabbit or making drinkable water.
Then there’s the amazing characters! Theo’s a kick-ass pilot who has worked her way through the ranks of Rave’s military to the title of Captain but still longs for her own freedom. With smarts, strength, and survival expertise, she navigates an unjust world. Once a party boy, the princeling Galian has found his calling as a medic but his father has military plans for his youngest son. Kindhearted and funny, he struggles with what his nation has become.
From sworn enemies that cause each other to crash on an island to an unlikely alliance of survival and from a blossoming friendship to something so much more, Theo and Galian’s journey together provides excellent character development for each of them separately but more importantly together. Evan’s doesn’t rush the forming bond between the Raven and Kylaen and the two of them run into plenty of bumps along the way. Needless to say, I totally ship it!
Overall, I really enjoyed S. Usher Evans’ The Island. It was a compelling story that was easy to dive right into without getting bogged down in all the details. Theo and Galian’s journey of survival and discovery tugs at heartstrings and I’m looking forward to see where they are headed in the next one. I think this book will appeal to pretty much anyone and definitely recommend it to all!
So are you excited for The Island’s release? If you’ve read it, thoughts on the story? Excited to see what happens next? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!