Review: Soulbound

Author: Heather Brewer
Series: Legacy of Tril #1
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: DIAL
Reading Level: Young Adult (12 and up)
Pages: 394 (ARC)
Source: ARCycling
Tril is a world where Barrons and Healers are Bound to each other: Barrons fight and Healers cure their Barrons' wounds in the ongoing war with the evil Graplar King. Seventeen-year-old Kaya was born a Healer, but she wants to fight. In Tril, and at Shadow Academy, where she is sent to learn to heal, it is against Protocol for Healers to fight. So Kaya must learn in secret. Enter two young men: One charming, rule-following Barron who becomes Bound to Kaya and whose life she must protect at all costs. And one with a mysterious past who seems bent on making Kaya's life as difficult as possible. Kaya asks both to train her, but only one will, and the consequences will change their lives forever.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

I have not read Brewer's Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, but I really want to after reading this one because I enjoyed it so much. I didn't know what I was getting into when I picked this one up. I knew that it had a heroine who I would love simply because she went against the norm and refused to play the damsel in distress, and I'm happy to say that it lived up to my expectations. Admittedly, I'm a sucker for a heroine who can kick some serious butt, so Kaya is a blossoming favorite of mine and easily commanded my respect.

The plot in this one was amazing. The thought behind it is unimaginable and I have nothing bad to say about it. It dragged me in from page one and I couldn't get enough, easily finishing this book in one sitting, though the ending was predictable. The fight scenes took my breath away and the attention to detail, especially when describing the hideous, fantasy Graplar beasts, was superb. But what upset me is the slight love triangle. It's not overpowering, but it does exist between the rule following Barron that Kaya is Bound to and his rule-breaking best friend that is the only respected Unskilled in all of Tril. As fascinating as it was, it made the characters seem very wishy-washy at times, which is upsetting since the characterization in this novel was so strong and well done.

Believe it or not, this book got its rating for only two reasons. First of all, the ending was predictable. I figured it out on a hunch within the first one hundred pages in the book even though it was barely foreshadowed. What was supposed to be this huge bomb was easily foreseen, though as predictable as it was, I am still craving book two. August of 2013 is way too far away, if you ask me.

My other qualm with this book is the language and, at times, the way it is written. Part of the reason I breezed through a four hundred page book was because it was written for ages twelve and up. As a senior in high school, I still enjoy some middle-grades, so I found no problem with that at all. However, this book liked to use cuss words, but since you can't drop the f-bomb or call someone the d-word in a book for twelve year olds, the words "fak" and "dek" were tossed around a lot. While I understand the need to create unique cuss words in young adult literature these days to make it appropriate for younger readers but somehow convey the powerful frustration and angry emotions that a cuss word is normally used with, a word that seems so out of place sometimes doesn't work out. Honestly, these words, specifically "fak", are found very often in this one, and it mislead me as a reader and tended to constantly ruin serious moments because of the sheer awkwardness and silliness of the faux-cuss word. If you are going to write a book for such a young audience, don't throw such serious insults in. The need for young readers could be found in other scenes throughout the novel because they were written in less detail or very simply so that they could be read by younger individuals. Normally, I wouldn't have a problem with this, but the entire book wasn't written this way, so such moments seemed out of place to me and disrupted the plot flow. If this was corrected, it would have been a much smoother read.

With all of that being said, I am anxiously awaiting book two. I really enjoyed this one and Kaya is a great main character. Though slightly illogical and prone to overly-girlish moments, she's respectable, relatable, and fighting for an amazing cause as an underdog. She'll do anything to protect her parents and the constant death threats against them. In other words, she's my kind of girl.

3.5 stars

|Amazon|Goodreads|Book Depository|Barnes and Noble|Author's Website| 


  1. Oh, I definitely appreaciate a kick-ass heroin :) What a shame that the dreaded love-triangle had to pop-up, but the great sound of the plot makes it a little bit bearable. Predictablility isn't so bad, but the use of those strange words sounds annoying. Great review :)


  2. AHA! So you're the one who snagged Soulbound out from under me on ARCycling! :D *giggles*

    I love your review though! I hoped the plot in this book would be amazing so I'm really glad you think so! The language does sound a little annoying though.. I guess it might have been okay if the author used words that younger teens actually do use. Like "Fudge" maybe? My friends and I used to use that sometimes -- mostly when around parents lol! But do people actually say "fak" these days? It seems kind of weird.

    Thanks for the review! :))

  3. I read this too and I also have a problem with the cuss words. I mean, c'mon, if you want to swear in the book either full out swear or don't do it at all. The fak really bothered me a lot. Great review, Lili :)

    -Ariella @ Secrets of Lost Words

  4. This looks like a great book but the "fak" thing sounds weird!

  5. I loved this story. It was very interesting and I was thoroughly invested. I can't wait to reread the story when the next book is FINALLY available!!