Arc Review: Luminous by Mara Rutherford

Title: Luminous
Author: Mara Rutherford
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: October 5th, 2021
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“Liora has spent her life in hiding, knowing discovery could mean falling prey to the king’s warlock, Darius, who uses mages’ magic to grow his own power. But when her worst nightmare comes to pass, Darius doesn’t take her. Instead, he demands that her younger sister return to the capital with him. To make matters worse, Evran, Liora’s childhood friend and the only one who knows her secret, goes missing following Darius’s visit, leaving her without anyone to turn to.

To find Evran and to save her sister, Liora must embrace the power she has always feared. But the greatest danger she’ll face is yet to come, for Darius has plans in motion that will cause the world to fall into chaos–and Liora and Evran may be the only ones who can stop him.” (Goodreads)

I was excited to start another book by this author after liking her debut duology. She does a good job of creating such an interesting plot and this one had that same quality. Although I did like it overall, I still had a couple issues with it as well.

Liora has magic but isn’t able to use and must be very strict when it comes to going into town. Her seclusion felt a lot like Rapunzel’s from Tangled. She even glows at time but it’s not her hair. You can tell that she loves her family and would do anything for her sisters, especially the youngest one. There are a couple quarrels between them and hints of jealousy but what sibling bond doesn’t have that? Liora has good development throughout the book as she tries to understand her abilities while also learning more about the Lord Darius that everyone is afraid of.

Lord Darius is an interesting guy and usually I don’t like villains but I did take a liking to him. He definitely is more complicated than what is led on at the beginning and I also liked his development as well.

There is some romance in this book. To me, it felt very minor and it also was one of those where Liora already has feelings for him after being friends with him. This development obviously happens off the page so it was hard to actually feel anything for them when they were together. I also didn’t like the development the relationship throughout the book. Liora knows what she wants by Evran is very wishy-washy and the whole trying to let her go to save her got old real quick.

As I mentioned previously, the plot is very unique and what really makes this story. The magic system isn’t new and there are some abilities that have been used before but she still makes the ones that a very present throughout the book special in their own way. Using a star/light as a magical ability was fun to read about and I liked to see how it involved Lord Darius and what Liora would do with her power.

There are some plot twists that I definitely wasn’t expecting. It made the pacing of the book good but the ending felt very rushed with all of the reveals just feeling very anticlimactic which is one of the things I dislike the most about books.

Overall, this was good. I liked the use of magic and the growth in Liora as she learns more about her specific magic along the way.


5 thoughts on “Arc Review: Luminous by Mara Rutherford

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