Author: Renee Collins
Publication date: August 27th, 2013
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie's world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics' powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.
Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics' powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren't always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it's too late.
Relic is a thrilling adventure set in a wholly unique world, and a spellbinding story of love, trust, and the power of good.
I received an e-copy of this book from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
I don't totally remember requesting this book from the publishers, but I received it irregardless and decided to go ahead and read and review it for the hell of it. The cover was pretty, the synopsis was intriguing, who wouldn't give it a gander?
The story takes place in the 1800s and opens on the tragic scene of Maggie and her siblings running from the blazes that are swallowing their little town whole. Their parents had been away so Maggie, the oldest at only sixteen, was left in charge. In the midst of the blaze, Maggie and her seven-year-old sister, Ella, must face the big bad world having lost everything from love ones to worldly possessions. Maggie and her sister are rescued from the fires by a young Apache warrior for Maggie's past and deposited at a mission to get back on their feet. Maggie gets a job in a saloon waiting tables and cleaning up after rowdy men. She accepts that she will not be able to provide anything but a meager existence for her baby sister.
While dwelling on the sorrow of her lost family and the fate that has befallen her sister and herself, Maggie takes a quiet moment to vent her sadness. It is there where she meets the handsome cowboy, Landon. For some reason, the two total opposites find mutual ground and start forming a friendship that slowly and assurdly grows deeper.
Unfortunately, Landon is not the only one who has his sights set on Maggie. Álvar, the richest and most powerful man in Burning Mesa, also has plans for Maggie. After helping her out of a dire situation he convinces her to stay in his hacienda with him so he may fine tune her affinity for the relics. Maggie is not stupid enough to go into the compromise without some weariness, but she has to do what is best for her baby sister.
As the burnings start up again, Maggie attempts to extract herself from the life of finery she has become accustomed to and find the perpetrators. Little does she know that it could be someone she could very well have trusted at one time or another.
This book read like a fantasy book twisted with a western. The western theme was alive and well throughout the book, even down to the turmoil between the "cowboys" and "indians". While it was intriguing and completely unique, for some reason it didn't pull me in as much as most books do. When main characters die (which a lot seem to do), I did not cry. I just flipped the page and kept on reading. However, that does not mean that I didn't like the book. At every mystery and slight suspicion I had my guesses well rooted in my mind and almost all of the time I was wrong. I thought the story would end one way and it went a completely different route. In this case, I love when I am wrong. Adds a dash of greatness to the book.
Relic combines the gritty, rough-and-tumble feel of a western with the whimsical, mystifying world of fantasy. It brings it's reader into a new world that is also a world from our past. A historical fantasy that will delight readers in almost every genre.