We start our story meeting Reggie, a young adult who has had a sad start. She has lost her father and her mother has turned to drink from the loss. She is a social outcast at the best of times, so when a biology lesson results in the unexpected reanimation of a frog at her hand, she finds herself a laughing stock and utterly confused with her ability. That’s not the only issue that Reggie is dealing with, visited by a man named Rhys in her dreams she learns that her father was not all he has seemed. Rhys comes to her dreams from “the Other” (our world is “the Real”) and revelations that her father was from magic leads Reggie to discover she inherited that magical gift. Reggie's "gift" very soon becomes her curse when she is told she must uproot her life to come to the Other for protection as there are those that would seek to harm her for what she is. Someone is coming to protect her in her journey
Asher works as a slave for Andrius, ruler of the other, he is tasked to recover Reggie before Rhys, and return to the Other under a false pretence. When Reggie and Asher meet, they connect immediately and trust is given freely. Their journey is fraught with danger and twists in allegiance, can the foe become the friend? What is Reggie and why is she so important?
In the round this was a very enjoyable read, all the main characters are instantly likeable and relatable in their flaws. Even Reggie’s mother can’t be seen as bad for turning to drink, she is clearly broken over the loss of Reggie’s father, Sebastian. The world of the Other has some spectacular scenery and creations which is why I love reading fantasy so much! it really allows your imagination free reign and this story gives you just enough to build that world without too much and overwhelming you with description over plot. By far my favourite character though is Brwyn, a changeling, who has an uncanny knack of being at the right place at the right time. He is enigmatic, charming yet entirely loveable as you know there is no hidden agenda, I loved it when he turned up!
The action really ramps up in the last 30% as Reggie starts to fully embrace her legacy and allows herself to open up to her powers without fear. In this latter 3rd it becomes a real page turner and I couldn't put it down, willing the characters forward, one part where Reggie has to hide in a fireplace will have you holding your breath as you read.
My only downside with this story is that I occasionally found some dialogue confusing and there were parts which for me, could have had some more explanation (which I now have as Rebecca Jaycox was amazing at chatting it through with me.) The ending, however, is bittersweet because as a reader we are privy to more information than Reggie which sets us up nicely for book 2!
I very much recommend giving this a read and gets a 4 out of 5 from me!