It seems Jasmine Giacomo deems her Immortality Archives/Legend of the Shanallar novels adult fantasy. I don’t see it. There is no explicit sex nor explicit violence. Neither are the novels overly dark.
I chose to read The Wicked Heroine exclusively because of the title. I wouldn’t say that our main character (the Shanallar/Meena/Jacasta) is exactly wicked. In my opinion strong, experienced and unwilling to take a whole lot of BS is more descriptive. She makes her choices and faces the consequences of those. Sometimes those consequences are other people being hurt while at other times she is the one getting hurt. Sometimes everyone benefits. As I kept on reading about Meena, I found I liked her more and more.
Another favorite character was Geret Branbrey Valan. Geret is highly intelligent, naive and bored – all poured into one of the nobility. He has the best pranks but understands very little about other people. Maybe he is the one who goes through the most personal changes. I guess you could say that by the end of the duology he has been forced to grow up.
Sanych is another appealing character. Her main flaw is that she is extremely single-minded. Single-mindedness is a great quality if you are willing to learn from your mistakes. It takes her some time but Sanych figures out that despite all her bookish knowledge she too has plenty of real life learning to do.
Off the three of them go to find The Dire Tome, each of them with different motives for joining the journey. Like all heroic journeys there is plenty of action, a lot of death and wicked opponents. The three meet interesting people on their journey. We get to observe a love-triangle or two and the various feelings that go along with love/lust. The various love-triangles were what made surprised that Giacomo has classified her novels as adult. They were more of the kind found in YA novels in my opinion.
This is not a series. The books are not stand-alone but of the serial type. You will have to begin reading The Wicked Heroine for book no. 2 (Oathen) to make sense.
The Wicked Heroine was a fun read.
Reviews: Julie Ann Dawson,
My review of Oathen