[REVIEW] Avery

Series: the Chronicles of Kaya #1
Charlotte McConaghy
Genre: adult, romance, fantasy
July 1, 2013
Random House Australia

Purchase: Amazon
Avery (Random Romance)
Avery is a sweeping, romantic fantasy novel about loss and identity, and finding the courage to love against all odds. Published as part of the Random Romance series. 
The people of Kaya die in pairs. When one lover dies, the other does too. So it has been for thousands of years - until Ava. 
For although her bondmate, Avery, has been murdered and Ava's soul has been torn in two, she is the only one who has ever been strong enough to cling to life. Vowing revenge upon the barbarian queen of Pirenti, Ava's plan is interrupted when she is captured by the deadly prince of her enemies. 
Prince Ambrose has been brought up to kill and hate. But when he takes charge of a strangely captivating Kayan prisoner and is forced to survive with her on a dangerous island, he must reconsider all he holds true . . . 
In a violent country like Pirenti, where emotion is scorned as a weakness, can he find the strength to fight for the person he loves . . . even when she's his vengeful enemy?

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“Fear is a funny thing,” he went on more softly. “The only way to gain power over it is to change your perception of it. If a trauma occurs, it can change the patterns of a mind, and the only way to turn them back is to go through the same trauma again and come out of it different.”
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Romance-fantasy is not my usual read. It’s usually a hit or miss to me. And Avery just hit the right spot.

I initially had mixed feels when I started Avery. The premise caught my attention but the first few chapters kind of made wonder what it really wants to do. But reading further, the goal of the story unravels slowly but surely as chapters go by. And at the end of it all, I find Avery as a beautiful mixture of romance, fantasy, and great characters.

The Romance. The romance is one of the things I really love about Avery. There was a lot of development in the romance aspect. There is the relationship between Ava and Ambrose which developed smoothly. It’s one of the things I love reading in here. Both Ava and Ambrose are very easy to understand and easy to like. While reading through, it makes me feel that they truly complement each other. There’s that spark between the two of them right from the very beginning and McConaghy developed their relationship really well into something truly unforgettable.

The relationship between Roselyn and Thorne, on the other hand, kind of started pretty rough for me. Individually, I loved them but their relationship makes me want to slap them both at times. But as the story wraps up, I have to admit that I ended up loving the relationship between the two of them. The development was very lovely – there was a lot of confusion and maybe struggle between the two of them but it was wrapped up well in the end.

Aside from the romantic relationships among the four characters, Avery involves this really admirable relationship between the two brothers, Ambrose and Thorne. Throughout the story, you can see how each other them really just looks at the other – how Thorn find Ambrose more worthy of being a King as compared to him, or how Ambrose commends his brother’s unbeatable strength and unwavering loyalty to the Queen.

The Fantasy. Avery’s premise truly caught my attention: The people of Kaya die in pairs. When one lover dies, the other does too. So it has been for thousands of years - until Ava.

I LOVE THE WORLD OF THE CHRONICLES OF KAYA. There’s this HUGE difference between Kayans and the Pirentis. It’s really note worthy. The distinguishable aspects of Kaya and Pirenti really made Avery a nice read in terms of the world. While Pirenti is shown as something really, really undesirable, I enjoyed reading it. And maybe despite how Avery was barely set in Kaya, I truly appreciate Kaya because of the many descriptions mainly given by Ava.

The Great Characters. The characters are another great aspect of Avery. The first few chapters, for me, felt like giving the characters life. Things were happening but it’s as if there’s a focus on giving distinguishable personalities on each characters. Ava and Ambrose are my favorite.

Ava was vengeful, strong willed, and somehow close-minded. In Ava, there was a lot of women empowerment. She hates it when Ambrose speak ill of women – that they are lower than men, that they cannot fight men. Ambrose, on the other hand, is what I call a Pirenti man who isn’t a Pirenti man. Both characters were developed so well and their stories were also shown nicely.

Thorne and Roselyn, on the other hand, were characters that I liked later on in the story. Thorne, for me was this brute man. He was both cold and loyal. He’d do everything the Queen orders him to do but later on, it was shown why he does things and where he’s coming from. When I first read about Thorne, I just knew that he’ll be the one that must be developed so much. I didn’t like him because he’s violent and he hurts his wife but at the end of it all, I loved him. The bravery and sacrifice that he exerted at the end was really commendable.

Roselyn, on the other hand, wasn’t very likable for me in the beginning. I didn’t like her at first because she just lets Thorne do what he pleases. She loves him so much that she doesn’t mind the violence. She’s both gentle and emotionally strong. I wanted to slap her a lot of times but I knew that she’s the key in the development of Thorne’s character.

Avery’s climax and conclusion was very unforgettable. The PLOT TWIST totally caught me by surprise. I was up all night reading through the final chapters because there were a lot of things going on. Fights were being fought. Revelations declared. Emotions started pouring out. It was thrilling. It made me read word per word. And there was just A HUGE amount of great moments for each character.

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What I Like: (1) the world – the difference between Kayans and Pirentis, (2) the premise – the nature of Kayans, (3) the romance – truly unforgettable and well developed, (4) the strong bond between the brothers, (5) the great and unforgettable characters – especially Ava and Ambrose, (6) the climax – very riveting indeed, (7) the lovely conclusion – quite emotional and nicely wrapped up

What I Didn’t Like: (1) the slow start, (2) how I didn’t feel so much for all the characters

great characters + well developed romance + unforgettable ending = MUST READ! 

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Charlotte started writing her children’s fantasy series ‘The Strangers of Paragor’ as a teenager and has since gone on to publish five novels. After a Masters degree in Screenwriting she wrote ‘Avery’, the first in her adult fantasy series ‘The Chronicles of Kaya’, published by Random House. She now lives in Sydney, Australia, and has just released a new dystopian sci-fi novel called ‘Fury – Book One of The Cure’, published by Momentum.

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