Soulbound (Legacy of Tril #1) by Heather Brewer Reviewed by Rachel Harcrow

Soulbound (Legacy of Tril #1)

Published June 19,2012 by Dial

From the Publisher:

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.

My summary and review:

What would you do if you had to choose between trusting your instincts and obeying Protocol?  In the first of a new series of YA fantasy by Heather Brewer, Kaya is faced with numerous difficult decisions. Each one has the potential to rock her new world, one that she does not fully comprehend.

Kaya was born to parents in exile—parents who have abandoned the society of Tril .  Her parents are both skilled Barrons, who fought in the first battle at Wood’s Cross against the notorious King Darren.  Both parents lost their healers in the battle; consequently, they fell in love. Since Protocol states that Barrons and Healers can only be romantically linked to one of the other kind, their relationship is against all of the regulations.  Kaya’s parents chose to flee from the Tril society, and built a life in a small village of Unskilled  (people without powers who do not know that Tril exists) named Kessler.

Through an attack on her unskilled village, Kaya and her family are discovered. A letter comes from the Headmaster Quill, politely requesting her attendance at Shadow Academy, or her parents would be in danger. Despite offers from her parents to flee, Kaya is determined to go to Shadow Academy to learn how to protect herself from the Graplar monsters that attacked Kessler. As anyone starting a new situation, Kaya is confused and disoriented starting from day one. With the help of her tough-as-nails guard Maddox, Kaya begins to understand the hierarchy which her parents abandoned.  Barrons are viewed as strong and fierce, whereas healers are meek and obedient. Kaya wants to go against the grain and become a fighter. However, she is immediately bound to the gorgeous and kind Trayton, the son of an influential family whose original healer died in battle. They begin to form a relationship based on trust. When Kaya asks for what she wants—to learn to fight— the rule-abiding Trayton declines to help her. Kaya seeks out the mysterious Unskilled Darius, who agrees to train her in secret.  As her situation deepens, Kayas despair increases. Should she keep her commitment and confess her training to Trayton, who she has feelings for? Or should she keep it a secret because she also feels electricity when Darius is around? This non-stop plot is one that you won’t want to miss out on.

To my fellow Nerdy Book Clubbers: I believe there is a bit of Kaya in each of us, centered in our passion for reading. The story begins with Kaya’s paper cut from a fresh book. When Kaya first becomes overwhelmed her first night at Shadow Academy, she thinks, “All I wanted as a soft bed to sleep in. Maybe some hot pepper chocolate. And a book to lose myself in.”

What could be better?

Auntie Heather(preferred nickname of author Heather Brewer)  writes another amazing book, which kicks off a series that is sure to be a success. Fans of Matched,  Insurgent and Across the Universe will recognize Kaya as a strong heroine who is determined to follow her beliefs. Teenagers will undoubtedly identify with Kaya’s urge to belong to a group (the healers), but also challenge the authority that separates her from her family and beliefs (the headmaster and Zettai Council).  Harry Potter fans will enjoy the classes (An Introduction to Protocol or Anatomy of War, anyone?).  I found myself weighing her choices in my head as well as my heart. I sympathized, cheered and thoroughly enjoyed exploring this new world. The story began with action, and this trend continued throughout the book. Descriptions by Auntie Heather will leave you captivated. There are so many questions left unanswered, and much, much more that I want to know about Shadow Academy and Tril. The countdown begins for Soulbroken (Legacy of Tril, Book 2).

Rachel Harcrow is spending her summer reading as she gears up for a second year of teaching Language Arts in Arizona. She believes in the power of a good book , and aims to establish new lifelong Nerdy Book Club members each year. You can find her on twitter as @MissHarc.