The following review contains NO SPOILERS!
my thoughts in a few sentences: Although I wasn't reduced to fangirl gushiness over Switched, Torn rapidly makes up for any lack I felt from its predecessor. The stakes are cranked up to a nearly unbearable volume, all but suffocating our relatable, mistake-making heroine who is doing her best to learn on her feet, hoping to pick up all the right cues and etiquette, not to mention the unyielding mentality of a princess while trying to balance her innate compassion into the equation. Wendy has the power to change things, to make a difference in this world she's only just been introduced to yet has quickly fallen for. It's her world now, and she has people to fight for. Fans of The Princess Diaries and The Iron Fey series combined will enjoy Wendy's tremulous journey into a character and ruler we can all adore.
hooking first line: "When Rhys and I showed up at my "brother" Matt's house at eight in the morning, he was happy... in the sense that he was glad I was alive and hadn't disappeared forever."
DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ SWITCHED.
Amanda Hocking is an indie publishing sensation whose self-published novels have sold millions of copies all over the world. Step into the world of the Trylle, and prepare to be enchanted…
When Wendy Everly first discovers the truth about herself—that she’s a changeling switched at birth—she knows her life will never be the same. Now she’s about to learn that there’s more to the story…
She shares a closer connection to her Vittra rivals than she ever imagined—and they’ll stop at nothing to lure her to their side. With the threat of war looming, her only hope of saving the Trylle is to master her magical powers—and marry an equally powerful royal. But that means walking away from Finn, her handsome bodyguard who’s strictly off limits…and Loki, a Vittra prince with whom she shares a growing attraction.
Torn between her heart and her people, between love and duty, Wendy must decide her fate. If she makes the wrong choice, she could lose everything, and everybody, she’s ever wanted…in both worlds.
As a special gift to readers, this book contains a new, never-before-published bonus story, “One Day, Three Ways,” set in the magical world of the Trylle.
5 Reasons Why Torn Worked For Me
1. The character growth is stunning. While it may not be as elegantly done as we've seen in other series, it's subtle and perfect for us because we've enjoyed these characters up until this point and now have a chance to watch them develop and become better people. We've already grown attached to them, so we can't help but feel warm and giddy as we read Wendy's gradual transformation into a more cautious, more considerate person, equipped with fine-tuned supernatural abilities and well-honed compassion that has all the impact of a hammer bearing down on rock, capable of cracking the most tormented and reluctant of hearts and powerful enough to bring others onto her side of the cause.
2. There's a war brewing. Not only do we retrieve more insight into the circumstances of Wendy's birth and her parents' tragic history, we learn of the makings of the war that's percolating between the Vittra and Trylle kingdoms. There's kidnapping, a bit of espionage, seductive, willing prisoners, and a malicious king involved, all intertwined to jumpstart the plot and set a match to the intensity that barely sparked in Switched and blazes more truly in Torn.
3. We have a love triangle on our hands. YES! Finally. I was deathly afraid Wendy would be pathetically in love with Finn all her life. Crisis averted, or the process has begun to ensure that. We are immediately intrigued and a tad seduced by the newcomer infiltrating Wendy's already notso peaceful life, an enemy wavering in his resolve to stand by his ruler because of a precious something he discovers elsewhere, a certain queen-in-training who dazzles and intrigues him instantly with her bewildering kindness. Cocky, witty, strong, and a bit vulnerable, this new arrival couldn't be more welcome if I stamped the words across my forehead in blazing red.
4. Familial relationships are re-aligned. A huge part of why I couldn't enjoy Switched the way I wanted to was because of Wendy's abandoning her older brother for safety and the promise of a new, better-suited life. Matt and Wendy's bond suffers from the shock of her origins and the powers she possesses, but, eventually, they work through it and that bond deepens, swelling with love and pride in each other, a well-rooted family connection that can't be severed no matter how much others in the Trylle community look down upon it. And while we are introduced to Wendy's ice queen of a mother, we come to understand that that harshness and distance isn't all there is to this woman who birthed her and whom she has never had the chance to know.
5. The princessing is so much fun. For reasons revealed in this sequel, Wendy is forced to take the reins on a lot of subject matters regarding her kingdom, pushed into tight situations and constantly having to exercise her small-scale power. Taking charge, commanding, the balls, war strategics, interviews with sexy prisoners, and power plays and struggles at court all make Torn a more dynamic, compelling read.
Overall, Torn by Amanda Hocking is a notably impressive improvement to its much more tedious predecessor. It beats out the first book while simultaneously preparing us for the unmatched urgency, intensity, and romance living in the third and final book in the series, Ascend.
Really nervous about reading this review? Want to make sure I didn't sneak any spoilers in? Read my review of Switched by Amanda Hocking!