The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwod.
But when she is needed she always comes.
Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.
Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat.
Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.
Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.
(Summary from GoodReads)
Mistwood by Leah Cypess spent a good amount of time on my TBR pile. How could I not want a book that’s fantasy with a pretty purple cover? When Allison at The Allure of Books showed that she had gotten it and the sequel Nightspell, I pointed out that we should read them together. Mistwood had some great worldbuilding in it, but the plot was very heavy with political intrigue, which I didn’t enjoy as much.
Isabel is a fascinating character, and this novel has a really strong beginning to it. She starts the novel not really knowing a thing about the world and people around her, and I thought this was a wise choice on Cypess’s part, because it made it easy for her to build her world and develop her characters without info dumping.
I wasn’t really as into the plot of this book. There is a romance here, but I could have done without it. I might have enjoyed the plot twists and turns more, but by the end of the book it started to feel like there were too many twists and turns. Mistwood is the type of fantasy that focuses heavily on political intrigue, and I have a harder time getting into those than I do other types of fantasy. While I think it can be done successfully, I haven’t seen an abundance of cases where I really enjoy it.
Unfortunately, this one wasn’t an especially memorable read for me. It got too confusing and I just wasn’t really into the story. I already have a copy of Nightspell because it has a gorgeous cover, and lots of people whose taste I trust enjoyed it much more than Mistwood. I definitely plan on giving Cypess’s work another shot before writing her off entirely.