The Battle Sylph by L. J. McDonald

The Battle Sylph (Sylph, #1)

He is one of many: a creature of magic, unrelentingly male. He is lured through the portal by pure female beauty, a virgin sacrifice. She is killed, and he is silenced and enslaved.

Such a dark ritual is necessary. Unlike their elemental cousins—those gentler sylphs of wind and fire—battlers find no joy in everyday labor. Their magic can destroy an army or demolish a castle, and each has but one goal: find his queen, then protect and pleasure her at any cost. What would a maiden do if she were given such a servant? What would befall that kingdom foolish enough to allow a battler to escape? Young Solie and the people of Eferem are about to find out.

What I think
I adored this book, there's no other way to put it. It was an angsty, sexy, action-packed, roller coaster ride, in other words my kind of book. It's the kind of book that pulls you in completely and doesn't let go until you've read it and even then, it's questionable.

The story
Oh, WOW, this was so unique! I'd never heard of sylphs before but they are definitely intriguing. I absolutely love when an author takes a mythological creature that's barely been explored and turns it into a fantastic story. It's about a world in which women basically mean less than nothing ending up in less then ideal situations. But the worst situation they can find themselves in, specifically virgins is being sacrificed in order to attract a battle sylph. Now, sylphs are creatures that if bound to you, will obey you without hesitation (although there might be some a lot of hate). There are different kinds of sylphs for different purposes. An elemental sylph such as an air sylph could be bound to a ship captain and be able to carry a ship, conveniently called an air ship, faster than the water would be able to, from one place to another. Since women were second class citizens, only men were bound to sylphs and the richer and more "important" men, such as royals would be bound to battle sylphs, sylphs which was thought only lived to hate and kill and in this way protecting their masters, killing everything perceived as a threat. But to get a sylph you had to lure them with something so they would cross over from their world into ours And the only thing that had been able to do that was sacrificing a virgin girl. So it happened that Solie, a seventeen year old girl ends up on such a sacrificial altar, which I'm sure wasn't one of the best days of her life, and that is where the awesomeness begins. The way the author crafted the story was unbelievable.  The whole thing flowed amazingly well, everything just fitting together perfectly. It was really a joy to read. And a big part of this were the characters. The story was told from different point of views, shifting seamlessly from one point of view to another. Half the time I didn't even realize the point of view had shifted to someone else's because it worked so well. It was like if the author wanted to write a certain scene, she'd tell the scene from the person with the most convenient "seat" so to speak, therefore creating the best story possible.  The story stayed one story, at no point did I feel like I was reading different "stories" because different characters were telling their part. I've read multiple viewpoints before but never have I experienced something quite like this, not even caring who told the story, because it just didn't matter. While I felt the difference between the characters, it didn't distract me, didn't take anything away from the story, instead adding so much more than I ever felt possible. It was truly remarkable.

The characters
I liked all the characters. I liked that Solie, the main character, wasn't some completely helpless girl, but that she was able to take care of herself when necessary, still ending up saved like a damsel in distress a lot of the time, but not because she was waiting around for it.
I liked Heyou, the main battle sylph well enough, but I realized early on that they are sweet, docile (and not the smartest) creatures, completely respectful and adoring of their women, but also completely obedient and supremely protective, pretty much acting like cavemen when their women are in danger. It is in their nature to follow orders, not make their own choices and for that reason, I don't think they make the best equal partners, although they make great sweet and sexy heroes.
My favorite character had to be Mace, one of the battle sylphs, mainly because he was a pretty smart sylph and I just liked him. Oh and his master Jasar reminded me an awful lot of Jafar and what I think he would be like outside of Disney's Alladin (Arabian Nights).

The gist
Ultimately, this was just an amazing book. I recommend it to anyone who likes a sweet, sexy, breathtaking, original, action packed paranormal page-turner.

*Although it's a book about a seventeen year old girl it is definitely an adult book.

5 Smileys

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