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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Meadowcity by Liz Delton is a grounded fantasy with a well thought-out world that feels real. It will appeal to young adults and adults who enjoy adventure. Sylvia is a young Rider who returns to her home of Meadowcity with an unread message for the Governor. The message is a threat of war if they don’t willingly surrender. Since war hasn’t existed for centuries, Sylvia doesn’t understand how to react to the potential takeover. With the arrival of an injured stranger, Sylvia realizes that the dangers at home may be worse than the lions and wolves lurking in the forest. She’s given the task of escorting the stranger home with the help of a Hunter, and has to face the reality that war has already begun.
Liz Delton creates a fantasy world that pulls away from the idea of magical creatures and fairies, but it’s not lacking in magic. Delton masterfully introduces us to Sylvia, her family, and the rules of the world without bogging you down with too much information. The characters are grounded and realistic. The dread of war is present, but it doesn’t overwhelm the story. Delton blends a peaceful utopia with aspects of a fantasy novel while hinting at the possibility of science fiction. The world of Meadowcity is engaging, creative, and delightful. Delton crafts characters to care about and a story that pulls you along for the journey. The war scenes don’t become graphic and are easy to read, but the horror of it is described through emotional details. This is a strong opening to the Arcera series!