Review: Of Blades and Wings by Eliza Raine





Princess Madivia is broken. Her fae magic doesn’t work, her illness will kill her, and nobody knows she exists. So when the gods select her to leave her tower in the Ice Court and train to be a Valkyrie at Featherblade, she is sure they’ve made a terrible mistake. So is every other fae at Featherblade. All except the disgraced fire-fae Valkyrie, Kain. His burning gaze never leaves her. Nobody knows what he did to have his wings taken away, but he is as dangerous as the deadly world Maddy has been drawn into. And she has the key to his revenge. If he discovers her secret, it won’t just be Maddy’s life that is in danger. She knows she should avoid him. But, the only thing harder than becoming a Valkyrie? Conquering her searing fascination with the unhinged fire-fae. If she is to survive Featherblade, she must earn her wings. If she is to survive Kain, she must make a choice that could burn their world to ash.


Reviewed by Dakota Watson

Of Blades and Wings was my first foray into Eliza’s work, and while the journey wasn’t flawless, I found myself thoroughly engaged in the story. The world Raine crafted was undeniably intriguing. Norse mythology, a personal favorite, intertwined with a Viking/Fae aesthetic? The story had me hooked. It was clear Raine wasn’t afraid to take creative liberties. Male Valkyries? A tangible Tree of Life? These unexpected twists kept me on my toes. That being said, the world building could have benefitted from a sturdier foundation. There were plot holes that left me frustrated, and certain aspects of the story felt under developed. The narrative dangled several intriguing threads, leaving me eager for resolution. Thankfully, with this being the first book in a series, I have hope that Raine will address them in the upcoming installments.

Maddie was a complex character. Her resourcefulness and adaptability were definitely strengths. In the heat of the moment, she could assess a situation and come up with a plan, which was impressive. However, the blackout thing with her eidetic memory was a bit of a head-scratcher. Here’s this supposedly brilliant woman with a photographic memory, but to access it she has to shut down completely? It felt like a needless vulnerability. And yes, at times her decisions did seem impulsive for a 28-year-old. Maddie was a character with a lot of potential. Hopefully, as the series progresses, she’ll mature a bit and hopefully Eliza finds a way for Maddy to utilize her eidetic memory without those inconvenient blackouts.

Kain definitely had the brooding bad-boy charm down to a tee – mysterious, unpredictable, and hot af. But through Maddie’s lens, he remained frustratingly opaque. The single chapter from his perspective was a tease, hinting at a deeper well of emotions beneath that stoic exterior. The lack of character development for Kain is a missed opportunity, especially considering the story is told primarily from Maddie’s POV. We never got to see the world through his eyes, to understand his motivations or the emotional turmoil that might be simmering beneath the surface. Here’s hoping that future installments will delve deeper into Kain’s psyche. Perhaps alternating POVs or giving him more internal monologues could give readers the emotional connection they crave. After all, I love myself a blood thirsty brooding hero with a hidden heart of gold.

The sparks were definitely flying between Maddie and Kain. Raine did a fantastic job weaving tension and simmering chemistry into their interactions. It felt real, like a slow burn waiting to ignite. Their connection was undeniable, but there was a sense of unexplored territory. We saw glimpses of vulnerability, hints of a deeper bond, but it wasn’t fully fleshed out. Hopefully, the next installment will delve deeper, allowing us to witness the full blossoming of their connection.

That ending! Raine definitely left us hanging with a cliffhanger that could shatter glass.

Overall, Of Blades and Wings was a fun, light read. While it wasn’t perfect, the world’s potential and the promise of future answers make me excited to see where Raine takes the story next.

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