Title: REMEMBERING MAJYK
Series: THE SKAZKA CHRONICLES #1
Author: VALIA LIND
Publication Date: AUGUST 28, 2018
Calista Faulkner never believed in fairy tales…until she is thrust into one.
While attending a college party, she’s attacked by terrifying creatures straight out of a modern day Dr. Frankenstein’s handbook. Fleeing for her life, she discovers that her human memories are a lie and nothing is what it seems.
Calista becomes a target and her only chance of survival is to trust the mysterious Brendan Parnell. He seems to know all of her secrets, even those she doesn’t remember herself.
Together they must fight to protect the most important part of their inheritance, the Relic of Knowledge. Unfortunately, Calista has no memory of her magical life and no idea where she hid the relic. As her memories begin to resurface with bone crushing agony, Calista must face the facts: she is a Volshebnitsya of the High Realm of Skazka and it is her duty to stop the Glava, the masters of Shadowlands.
The world around them begins to falls apart. Plagued by storms that are destroying cities and torn by the sinister monsters of Russian lore. The secrets locked deep inside her mind are her destiny and her undoing. If both worlds are to survive, Calista and Brendan must face the darkness around them—and the darkness threatening from within.A book based on the Russian folklore? You have me at the word ‘folklore’ because I love reading books that are inspired by mythologies or folklores. This book have a lot of potential to be better, I have hope for it. For a first book in a trilogy it can be a hit or miss, so I get if it wasn’t as best as I was hoping for. But I’m still going to read the other installments because this book has left out a lot of things and I’m sure everything would be answered in the other books.
The story is about a girl named Calista who had no idea that she is a sorceress/enchantress (honestly, I didn’t know which one is the correct one because I had to use Google translate to translate some of the Russian words in this book). She had no memories of what actually happened to her when she crossed over to the human realm from her own realm which is a realm where magic and magical creatures exists. A mysterious help came from a guy named Brendan who’d been watching her and protecting her. Together they went to search for answers that can help Calista regain her memories back.
The story was good and quite enjoyable to read. I do understand what was happening in the book but some of the things have poor execution making some parts of the story confusing and unclear. The story doesn’t have a smooth flow and I found many things were missing. So I hope the next book will cover a lot of things. Despite a lot of flaws I still liked the story and the concept of Calista being the Knowledge itself and that she have a duty to do which is to save her realm from the evils that are trying to destroy it.
The world-building needs to have a lot of improvement, so does the writing and the characters too. What I really liked the most was waiting for the truth to reveal itself. Calista lost her memories about what she really is and then there was a search for a relic called the Knowledge. Calista had a connection to the relic and the majority of the story was spent on tracking the location where she hid it. I was eager to find out where she hid the relic and how come she suddenly lost her memories the moment she crossed over to the human realm. It was obvious something went wrong. There are so many questions going inside of my head and the mystery about the Knowledge, and Calista’s lost memories made my curiosity piqued.
I was satisfied with the truth, and how Calista and the Knowledge are connected. It really shocked me knowing what she did to keep the relic safe. But what I still don’t get is how is she sacrificing her heart to become one with the Knowledge has anything to do with her being the reincarnation of the dark sorceress/enchantress from her realm? Another thing is does she even have a heart to begin with? Like, did she took out her heart and then replaced it with the relic hence why she is the Knowledge? That part confused me because she kept on saying she sacrificed her heart to become the Knowledge and if the villains wanted the relic then they should kill her in order to retrieve it. Where did her heart go? Or did she insert the relic inside of her heart because that is the only plausible thing that can explain what she did, and she was described as the most powerful being so I didn’t doubt if she managed to do it that way to keep the relic safe.
Now let’s talk about the characters…
Calista is brave, bold, strong, and is a leader in a lot of sense. I wanted to like her character so bad but unfortunately I couldn’t stand her most of the time. Her stubbornness gets on my nerve, every time. If someone who knows a lot more than her told her she’s in danger and that she needs to listen to them, then she should do as what she was told to. I get that she is her own person, independent, and she can do whatever she want to, but when her memories still hasn’t recovered, she need to listen to Brendan since he’d been protecting her and knows a lot while she kept putting herself in danger.
However, I do liked when her memories came back and she knew who she really is and what she actually is, she started to become a lot wiser and acted much like a leader. That was the side of her I really liked seeing and I hope to see more of her like that. Still, I don’t want her to jeopardize her own and everyone’s safety or to see her being reckless again. She needs to be smarter and think a lot faster now that the challenge she’s going to face will be tougher than she thought.
Next is Brendan. I loved him but also kind of annoyed at him which I will explain later. I loved that he was so protective of Calista, always making sure she was safe, and he was always ready whenever their enemies attacked them. Thanks to him that it was hard for their enemies to tracked Calista. No wonder he is the best, he knew just where to bring her. He is just as important as Calista and I wonder if he will play a much bigger role in the next book.
Now let’s talk about what I said about why I was kind of annoyed at him. Well, it was the same reason as why I was so frustrated with Calista. Brendan and Calista are both keeping secrets, especially Brendan since he knew better than Calista. Will fictional characters ever stop keeping secrets from each other because sooner or later their secrets will be revealed by either themselves or someone else and the outcome will be the same which is…bad. When will fictional characters ever learn that keeping secrets has never been good? I’ve seen this exact thing happened too many times in a lot of books and the characters that kept a secret ended up fighting with each other. This thing is typical and too predictable that I’m not even surprised anymore but still feel so frustrated by it. I just wanted for them to be honest with each other. You can’t just blindly trust someone.
I would like to see these two starts telling each other the truth instead of concealing the truth from one another in the next book. I would like to see how their friendship will evolve into something more because these two have the best chemistry, they shared a history together, and it was obvious that there was something more than just a friendship going on between them. It would be a waste of time if they were still in the terms of ‘friends’ because clearly they’re better off together as a couple.
As for William, he’s so arrogant and so cocky that I didn’t even liked his presence and I can’t trust his character at all. Introducing him as Calista’s fiancé while she obviously have feelings for Brendan is a cheap way to create a sort of ‘love triangle’ drama. This book has had enough of chaotic evil and magic, it doesn’t need a drama between two guys wanting a girl. I don’t know how Calista and Brendan will be able to get together while William is still alive, but I’m hoping for the author to be able to pull something in order to bring Calista and Brendan together. These two are a match made in heaven, not even William will be able to tear them apart.
Regardless of the flaws, I’m excited to read the next book and excited to see what will happens next. How will Calista fight Cornelius, what will she do to get her friend back, and will the rest of her memories came back now that she managed to remember the most important thing that had happened to her? There are so many things to be explored; the magic that live inside Calista, Cornelius and his actual agenda, and the royal family who is secretly evil. The possibility of exploring so much more about Skazka and the Shadowlands are endless, so I want to see what more do the author’s have for the next book.