Review: Umbertouched

The mission was a failure. Even though Zivah and Dineas discovered a secret that could bring down the empire, their information is useless without proof. Now, with their cover blown and their quest abandoned, their only remaining hope is to get home before Ampara brings the full might of its armies against their peoples.

As Shidadi and Dara alike prepare for war, Zivah and Dineas grapple with the toll of their time in the capital. After fighting alongside the Amparans against his own kin, can Dineas convince the Shidadi-and himself-where his loyalties lie? After betraying her healer’s vows in Sehmar City, can Zivah find a way to redeem herself -especially when the Dara ask her to do the unthinkable? And after reluctantly falling in love, what will the two do with their lingering feelings, now that the Dineas from Sehmar City is gone forever? Time is running out for all of them, but especially Zivah whose plague symptoms surface once again. Now, she must decide how she’ll define the life she has left.

Together, healer and warrior must find the courage to save their people, expose the truth, and face the devastating consequences headed their way.

This book was…something. I really don’t have strong opinions about it at all. I really very much enjoyed Rosemarked. It had a fresh feel for a fantasy novel, and I was captivated by the use of herbs and flowers. It was all new and exciting and had some very interesting dialogue surrounding the concept of a person’s identity.

However, this book kind of fell flat, compared to all of that. Where Rosemarked had interesting narratives surrounding the human spirit, Umbertouched was more about action and fight scenes. The healers, who were practically the heroes in Rosemarked, were overlooked for the sake of the soldiers and traitors and spies in Umbertouched. It was a drastic shift; one that wasn’t necessarily bad, it just did not at all fit with the messages and ideas of the predecessor, the ideas that (arguably) made Rosemarked so special.

All of this to say, Umbertouched just felt generic. It did have much going for it, other than the heroines firm belief in her morals, and her willingness to help the other side. I would have been more interested in this narrative if she had been fueled by a desire for peace, or maybe a belief in the value of human life, but she was motivated by her vows…which is, well, whatever.

So, it’s hard to recommend this novel. It just, as I said, fell flat to me. It was particularly interesting, but it wasn’t bad either. I’m glad I read it and found out the conclusions that awaited the characters, but it was overall anticlimactic.

2.5 out of 5.


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