Daughter of the Zel - Phoebe Ritter (Book Blog Tour)
"Raised on the border between Nevada and Zel, Efa has two certainties in life. Their country's neighbours, the militaristic Zel, are to be feared and as her touch will kill, she can never leave the island. When Efa is kidnapped and discovers she is half-Zel, certainty will be hard to come by."
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review as part of a book blog tour for Booktamins. If you're interested in becoming a tour host and reviewing great books like this one, then check out their website!
Check out the other amazing blogs who are also reviewing this book on this blog tour!
Trigger Warnings: mild violence, ambiguous allusions of sexual assault (never described)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
In Daughter of the Zel by Phoebe Ritter, we follow our main character Efa who has lived on an island in Nevda her whole life with only her family for company. The reason for her isolation being that she has the ability to kill anybody with her touch.
I must admit that this fact is what initially drew me to this book because it instantly reminded me of Rogue from The X-Men! I know, I'm such a geek!
At the start, I feel really bad for Efa. The fact that I'm already so defensive over this character already shows you how much I love her! I mean we don't even get to know her name until we're about a chapter in which is reflective of just how much she thinks of others before herself, which was a really clever touch by the author. She is basically treated like a servant by her family with the excuse that all of the work keeps her busy whilst they are away. It is easy to tell that they do love her in their own way but it's still not right how they treat her.
I like how this story is set up like a retelling of Cinderella, however instead of being saved by Prince Charming she is kidnapped by the fearsome Zel. The Zel are a militant country with a violent reputation. However, these stories are mostly spread by the Nevda. With all of the conspiracies and Efa discovering that everything she knew was a lie, who can she really trust?
Under the Zel, we really see Efa flourish. She becomes more confident, more assertive and we get to see more of her personality. It is a really nice contrast from the timid girl before who just saw herself as "damaged". Though it is sad that she is actually more free and treated more humanely by the people that kidnapped her. In fact, this story even gives the reader a bit of Stockholm Syndrome as it is easy to forget that she is actually still a prisoner and these people did kidnap her.
Plus, this book also includes my most favourite book trope of a found family. It gets extra brownie points for the group being such an unlikely group of friends as well! This trope gives me all of the feels, I just love it when a group of characters who usually wouldn't give each other a second glance, come to care and be protective over one another.
Also I just need to gush over Sul for a second, he's supportive yet very prideful but doesn't let that pride hurt the others. As the de facto leader of the group, the reader can tell that he genuinely cares for the others, to the extent that although he is desperate to leave he is determined not to leave anybody behind. There are honestly so many cool characters in this book, I'm going to have to stop myself there before I spoil anything!
The whole concept of this book was so clever and amazingly executed. I really enjoyed the writing style and there were some very shocking twists! Some of which literally made me gasp out loud. It's not often that a book gets me to do that!
Daughter of the Zel was a really good read and I am so excited to find out what is going to happen next!
Thank you for reading my thoughts, let me know what you think of Daughter of the Zel! You can find me on my Twitter and Instagram! Let me know if you have any recommendations of what I should read next.
About the Author
I’m an indie author of YA fantasy. As well as my Daughter of the Zel trilogy, I’ve also published a contemporary fantasy short story. I’m based in beautiful North Wales.
You can usually find Phoebe on her Twitter.