**This post was originally written for and posted on yabookreads.com**
When Tomas was six, someone — something — tried to drown him. And burn him to a crisp. Tomas survived, but whatever was trying to kill him freaked out his parents enough to convince them to move from Slovakia to the United States.
Now sixteen-year-old Tomas and his family are back in Slovakia, and that something still lurks somewhere. Nearby. It wants to drown him again and put his soul in a teacup. And that’s not all. There’s also the fire víla, the water ghost, pitchfork-happy city folk, and Death herself who are after him.
If Tomas wants to survive, he’ll have to embrace the meaning behind the Slovak proverb, So smrťou ešte nik zmluvu neurobil. With Death, nobody makes a pact.
I was looking for something different to read, with adventure and magic. That is exactly what I got here.
Characters: Tomas has burn scars down the side of his body. He has never had much luck keeping friends. More of a homebody that enjoys playing video games and watching movies. When moving home to Slovakia he encounters his families gypsy blood line, and several fantastical creatures. The Vodnik being my favorite character, then Tomas.
Plot: When a fire burns down their house. His parents decide that it’s financially better for them to move back home to Slovakia than stay in the U.S. The insurance money will go further there. Tomas, who has never had much luck keeping friends discovers he has even more problems in Slovakia. He is bullied and tormented and pulled into a world of magic and folklore that has plagued his family and the country of Slovakia for years. When the two begin to mix and it’s his family that is at stake. He steps up and faces his nightmares head on.
Originality: There are not any stories out there that I have read that is a fantasy adventure in Slovakia. It was a brilliant idea, and it’s history and atmosphere brings about a perfect setting for a quest. Tomas gets a job as a tour guide in a castle. He has experiences with prejudices against his gypsy family and is bullied for just being who he is. There is an amazing fantasy world built on Slovak folklores and mythologies with fairies, dragons, water and fire magic.
Writing: I enjoyed getting lost in this story. The mixture of cultures, history and magic with mystery really made for a great adventure. There were so many layers to this story that as the plot unravels the pacing escalates. If this were a song I would state the author has “perfect pitch” it was very well put together.
Krista’s Rating: I have been reading so many books with paranormal romance in it that my summer reading stack was screaming for something different. This book was put on my radar at the perfect time. It had magic, adventure, a new setting and history of a country that is overlooked and under appreciated (in my opinion of course) A character that had a lot of heart and care for others. But constantly having to fight to overcome prejudices. The creatures that he runs into during this story are at times funny, sometimes scary. But always interesting, unique and make for an amazing adventure.
To read more about this author please click on the book cover above
***** (5 Stars)