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Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Readers' Favorite
Tales of Witches and Wyverns by S. Ramsey, the first book in a series, opens the doors of the legendary Isle of Affalon to young adult fans of fantasy, fairy tales, romance, and novels based on Welsh mythology. Enid suffers from nightmarish dreams that remind her of the loss of her mother. The other children bully her constantly. Dylan, a neighboring boy one year older than Enid, protects her from the bullies, and they become best friends. With years spent growing up together, their friendship deepens. But when Enid prepares to celebrate her sixteenth birthday, Dylan gets into trouble. It turns out that Enid's best friend is a prince mentioned in the ancient prophecy and destined to save his kingdom from the dark powers. Queen Malagant takes Dylan, against his will, to the kingdom of Gwyllion. Enid joins forces with unexpected allies to find Dylan in the world of fae and help him fight evil.
In Tales of Witches and Wyverns, S. Ramsey offers fascinating world-building, almost making us believe that fae and other magical creatures walk among us. Ramsey's prose is imaginative and captivating. The author gives the ancient legends a fresh interpretation and pays tremendous attention to the details. Thus, Viviane, the witch, has eyes of different colors. Such details add zest to the narrative, which is action-packed and driven by the characters. Enid takes nothing for granted and has a strong sense of responsibility. Despite going through many difficulties, Enid never plays the damsel in distress. On the contrary, her measured approach to the challenges, willingness to learn, and commitment to the friend who needs her help reveal a strong-willed, practical person with a keen eye. So, it's not surprising that her weapon is a bow and arrow and that she is a skilled archer. Romance is an important part of the story, and Ramsey teases us with the possibility of a love triangle. I appreciated the proficiently crafted, intricate plot of Tales of Witches and Wyverns, its many intriguing twists and turns, and the author's profound knowledge of Welsh folklore.