Official Review: Awakening by Tayma Tameem

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Official Review: Awakening by Tayma Tameem

Post by InStoree »

[Following is an official review of "Awakening" by Tayma Tameem.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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A tale of the struggles of two princesses hoping to discover their past is presented in Awakening: Book 1 by Tayma Tameem. This fantasy novel takes place in a magical land and enchantingly explores the intricate tapestry of family bonds.

Twenty-six years earlier in the magical Kingdom of Hale as the King hears the news of the birth of his second daughter, Amara, he tells his four-year-old daughter, Katja, the bewitching story of the Spirit of Brikkir. As the king held his new daughter, his confidant and oldest friend, Cortel, observed that newly born Amara’s eye color has changed from dark brown to “a sapphire shade of blue,” indicating that the Spirit of Brikkir now resides in the little princess.

As if by magic, the story springs to present time, and Katja wakes up in a forest completely devoid of her memory except for her name. She then embarks on a path of self-discovery, reaching an unknown town where she comes to learn that she is Amara’s sister. Because of the lapses in her memory, Katja has no recollections of their relationship or the events that led her to wake up with amnesia in the forest.

The Spirit of Brikkir — also called the Spirit of Winter — runs through the veins of Princess Amara, who is now a Queen of Ice. From a very young age, she was able to summon and control ice, which scared the court magician. Although the King and Queen tried to tame her powers, whenever Amara became angry, she lost control of them. As she was growing up, Amara struggled to conceal her still hidden powers, and only her beloved sister, Katja, was able to calm her down. Back in the present time, Katja is shown struggling among the town’s people, trying to remember her past and discovering the truths about her sister and the so-called malefic Queen of Ice. What happened in the meantime? Did Amara’s resentment engulf her and release the darkness within her? Will Katja remember the bond that she once shared with Amara? And moreover, what will be the future of Hale’s Kingdom?

The story captures the essence of sisterly love between the two princesses — as well as a slight hint of platonic, teenage romance between them and the Princes of Sol — in an enchanting fairy tale adventure about the power of love. Although Katja was born without any magical powers, her “kindness and sharp intellect” made her distinguishable, complementary to Amara’s impatient, fiery nature. For instance, during a ballroom dance at Amara’s sixteenth birthday party, she quickly lost her temper in a moment of jealousy and accidentally turned an innocent guest into “an ice sculpture.” The characters are portrayed in a magical yet relatable fashion that evolves throughout the story. The thorough portrayal of the scenery and environment, such as the geometric patterns of the dance floor, the massive chandelier and the soothing tone of the harp, transports you to a magical place in your imagination.

The story has been written in two different time periods, and the author beautifully fluctuates from past to present maintaining the flow of the tale along with bits of wisdom, such as “love is the only power out there that trumps hatred, grief, sadness or anger.”

While the twists and surprises from the main story are wrapped up, there is a cliffhanger on the secondary themes, which made me wish for the sequel. Told in an expressive language with polished editing (as far as I could tell), the book is a phenomenal read for fantasy lovers of all ages who like to dwell in a magical world of princesses and their life challenges. Thus, I’m delighted to award Awakening: Book 1, by Tayma Tameem, with four out of four stars.

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Love is the only power out there that trumps hatred, grief, sadness, or anger.
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Post by Bookworm101520 »

This book sounds fantastic! I always love a story with a strong magic system. Your summary was great. Thank you for a wonderful review!
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Post by Luluwa79 »

I love sci-fantasy novels coupled with love, it's always thrilling. I would love to read the story and learn more about the two sisters.
Thanks for the detailed summary and well-written review.
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Post by mlh6fn »

This book sounds fascinating! Amnesia stories are a trope that I often enjoy, and the fact that this one focuses on the relationship between two sisters has me even more interested. Thank you for the review!
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Post by Pluma »

I like the sound of the different elements in this book, especially the magical and family themes blended together. It sounds like a unique and absorbing story. Thanks for the great review!
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Post by Bibliogn0st »

This book tantalises by fantasy-freak soul! Also, the cover of the book is so pretty! Already added it to my TBR. Thank you for your delightful review!
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Post by NetMassimo »

Some classic elements are used very well to build what seems a terrific story with well-developed protagonists. Thank you for your great review!
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Post by matneyrebecca06 »

Your review makes me think of a grown up telling of Frozen. You describe it quite well and I am adding it to my shelf immediately.
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Post by Saint Bruno »

I like the storyline of the book. I can't wait to explore the author's worldbuilding abilities, which is what I look out for in fantasy books. Thanks for your insightful review.
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Post by Melexa »

Beautiful story. The sisterly love and Amara's magical powers bring the movie 'Frozen' to mind. I can't help but wonder about the happenings that led to Katja waking up in the forest with amnesia. Well, I guess there's only one way to find out.
Thanks for the engaging review.
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Post by AntonelaMaria »

Well, I am not sure I want to read a book in a series with major cliffhanger... It seems like an interesting world building. Great job with review.
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Post by DANAWEB »

This is a wonderfully written review which captures the essence of the whole story quite effectively. A teenage fantasy story which includes bit of romance and mystery as well. This must be a good read, specially for teenagers.
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Post by ankushavhad »

Seems a classic sci-fi fantasy novel with a historical plot in a magical land and wonderful scenes. The story carried by duo sisters, leading and as hinted in your review the tale certainly to thrill readers. Appreciate your review, InStoree. Thanks.
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Post by Mounce574 »

The #BOTD is a beautifully written fairytale that encompasses sisterly bonds while remaining seperate personalities. Great review highlighting the past and present transitions.
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Post by Amy+++ »

I can't wait to read this book. A magical land with princesses is something I enjoy reading on occasion.
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