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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Embellished by Karen Glista is the first book in the Chronicles of Orian trilogy. When Travis talks his sister, Bekka, into helping him and his friends with an online game, he doesn't expect them to become trapped within the game. After nearly getting eaten by spiders, they're saved by soldiers traveling with Prince Vallas and his sister, Atharia. The prince is arrogant and entitled, yet he captivates Bekka, and is so drawn to her beauty that he's determined to marry her. Following their engagement announcement, Bekka and the princess are abducted by the bloodthirsty Vadarcs and taken to auction where they are bonded to the Vadarc princes. But are they as ruthless and barbaric as they seem? As Bekka is drawn to Prince Randar's charm, Vallas is prepared to stop at nothing to get her back, even if it means starting a war.
Karen Glista brings to life a fun concept, with a group of characters being transported into a video game, leaving them to question whether they're alive or dead in the so-called real world. Glista gives an emotional layer to the plot, contrasting Bekka with her brother and friends. While they feel trapped, she's never felt freer. She has been cured of the illness that plagued her most of her life, she can run and dance, and finally fall in love. Stereotypes are flipped as the dashing prince is more than what he seems, and the supposedly horrendous monster has a spark of humanity, leaving Bekka to wonder which one is the true beast. Embellished is a unique adventure, with twists and turns, romance and danger, monsters and heroes. A perfect novel for those who love adventure and romance!