Storm Siren #1. Author: Mary Weber.
In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse – and the girl – can be controlled.
As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth – meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.
Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.
Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.
But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?
Dreadfully bland. The elemental powers are nebulously defined, seeming to shift in strength and type in different situations – I think elemental powers could be fun, even though cliche, but please do something original with them. In Storm Siren it feels like the author picked out a nice-sounding template and forgot to finish customizing it.
“I’d like an Elemental-based power system, one gorgeous powerful orphan girl with a tragic backstory, and handsome mentor for her to fall in love with. Oh, for my Making a Point side-dish just throw in something about the evils of slavery and the tragedy of self-harm.”
And… well, there really wasn’t much more to it than that. Nym does train alongside another rather nice elemental young man, and they ride flesh-eating horses. That second part was probably customized, but was just there for the cool-factor; they don’t even use the horses in the final battle.
Sexual Content: “How about you show us a bit more skin and I’ll throw in an extra draught?” – about a female slave being sold. // “The last time I saw him, he was flirting with a slave girl who kept trying to duck his advances. She disappeared that night and I never saw her again.”/ Mention of favor-houses along the road. / “You all but scream ‘woman with loose morals’.” – to a girl wearing a low-cut dress./ Multiple instances of kissing. Several instances of flirtatious remarks.
Violence: Man backfist’s a girl across the mouth. She elbows him in the gut, and kicks him between the legs. Man lifts little girl-slave off the ground by her collar, choking her briefly before dropping her. Elemental lightning (caused by girl, but at the time she’s not in control) kills the man and girl. One character slaps another. Character carves a tattoo (ish) into her own arm. Bar fight – fists, stools, and people flying. Character kills an alpha wolf and drives off the rest of the pack with lightning. Uses lightning to tear an airship apart and kill a monster. Enemies bomb several villages.