In epic YA fantasy about a girl with a special power to communicate with magical beasts and the warring kingdom only she can save.
Elin’s family has an important responsibility: caring for the fearsome water serpents that form the core of their kingdom’s army. So when some of the beasts mysteriously die, Elin’s mother is sentenced to death as punishment. With her last breath she manages to send her daughter to safety.
Alone, far from home, Elin soon discovers that she can talk to both the terrifying water serpents and the majestic flying beasts that guard her queen. This skill gives her great powers, but it also involves her in deadly plots that could cost her life. Can she save herself and prevent her beloved beasts from being used as tools of war? Or is there no way of escaping the terrible battles to come?
I don’t understand why this book hasn’t been picked up more widely, as it’s so lovely!
Elin’s story is so rich and wonderful. She is a girl who just wants to do her best for those around her and learn about the creatures she shares the world with. The Royal Beasts in particular were amazing. I love how it showed their softer side but still kept them as a fierce and terrifying creature. But I also love her relationship with the bees, and with the people she comes into contact with.
It many ways it doesn’t read like a YA book – for a start while it follows Elin from 10 to 18, it has two 4 year jumps that are a little jarring. My favourite sections are definitely while she’s beekeeping lol, it’s just really beautiful in that bit and we get to know her so much better.
It also jumps around with perspective when we start seeing bits about the Yojeh. I enjoyed these, but it was a little confusing to follow in places.
All that said, it is really worth it to get a story with a different history and mythology, and for something so well written and translated. I defy anyone to read this and not fall at least a little in love.
Buy The Beast Player from Amazon UK.