The Unwilling

A Novel
Narrated by: Tia Rider
Length: 19 hrs and 52 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“Fantasy at its most sublime.” (Erin Morgenstern, NYT best-selling author of The Night Circus)

A penetrating tale of magic, faith and pride....

The Unwilling is the story of Judah, a foundling born with a special gift and raised inside Highfall castle along with Gavin, the son and heir to Lord Elban’s vast empire. Judah and Gavin share an unnatural bond that is both the key to her survival…and possibly her undoing.

As Gavin is groomed for his future role, Judah comes to realize that she has no real position within the kingdom, in fact, no hope at all of ever traveling beyond its castle walls. Elban - a lord as mighty as he is cruel - has his own plans for her, for all of them. She is a mere pawn to him, and he will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

But outside the walls, in the starving, desperate city, a magus, a healer with his own secret power unlike anything Highfall has seen in years, is newly arrived from the provinces. He, too, has plans for the empire, and at the heart of those plans lies Judah.... The girl who started life with no name and no history will soon uncover more to her story than she ever imagined.

An epic tale of greed and ambition, cruelty and love, this deeply immersive novel is about bowing to traditions and burning them down.

©2020 Kelly Braffet (P)2020 HarperAudio

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not YA- heavy on the violence

Just to limit your expectations: this is not YA “young adult” fiction.
There is a lot of violence and I think the author was appealing to Stephen King fans who intersect with some of the more edgier YA authors.
My mind kept going to “The Cruel Prince” if you’ve read that you’ll know it’s pretty violent for a YA novel so imagine this as an actual adult version...at least in some ways.

Don’t expect a neat and clear plot or twists or a nicely unfolding storyline.

I enjoyed it just fine but would have skipped this title if I had a better idea of how unsatisfying it would be.
The narrator wasn’t amazing but not terrible.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not Much to Like Here

I read this book because it was recommended by Erin Morganstern. Don’t be fooled. This book is no Night Circus. After giving us shallow, unlikeable, unmotivated characters, gruesome, sadistic violence and repetitive, poorly described situations, this author then has the effrontery to leave the story completely unresolved in anticipation of a sequel.

Don’t waste your time or money on this one. And I almost forgot to mention that the narrator is quite monotone and couldn’t bother to take the time to look up the pronunciation of words like sachet and wan. What a horror show! (And not in a good way.)

1 person found this helpful

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Boring

very hard to follow, boring reading. seemingly not going anywhere. characters don't seem to have any binding to whatever's happening.

1 person found this helpful