Storm Born
Richelle Mead
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Buy *Storm Born (Dark Swan, Book 1)* by Richelle Mead online

Storm Born (Dark Swan, Book 1)
Richelle Mead
384 pages
August 2008
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Richelle Mead has a very readable style. Although her books look like lots of others in this genre - indeed, they often follow similar patterns in terms of plot and action - this author's interesting and well-paced writing style marks these books above many others.

Her latest book, Storm Born, takes a break from her "Succubus" series and introduces us to a very different heroine - Eugenie Markham living in a different world. Eugenie is a powerful shaman, someone who banishes the gentry (spirits, fey and otherworldly beasts) to the Underworld, or the Otherworld. She's been trained by her stepfather, Roland, to help dispose of the odds and ends that can irritate people's lives - running shoes that are possessed, that kind of thing. However, Eugenie has begun to find that things seem to be different in her world. For a start, most of the spirits and fey seem less interested in killing her and more in romancing her; secondly, they all seem to know her name now; thirdly, the hot man she's just met is definitely something out of the ordinary.

Eugenie is discovering that there's more to her than she originally thought. Is she destined for something more than just exorcising spirits? With the help of her reluctant and potentially murderous bound spirits, with her rather foxy boyfriend, with a fairy King who has an unusual taste for tying people up, can Eugenie uncover her full powers, and can she understand her role in the history of war between the gentry and humans?

This book appears to be the first in a series in that although it reaches some sort of a conclusion, there are many ends left open. The focus of the story isn't just on Eugenie's powers and battling against evil spirits, but was also about her learning about herself and reading other people. Storm Born focuses a great deal on the fairy King Dorian and his training of Eugenie. The author wrote well the way that everyone involved in Eugenie's life has their own reasons for doing things and that she doesn't necessarily understand all the politics of the worlds in which she is living. There are plenty of secrets, many of which Eugenie hasn't yet uncovered, and there are reasons for peoples' actions that she doesn't understand.

What stands out about Storm Born wasn't so much the plot or the characters, although they are good; it's the author's ability to write in a flowing, interesting and descriptive style. It's easy to get drawn into this story, and it is never boring. I look forward to the next in the series.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2008

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