Umbertouched by Livia Blackbrune

umbertouched by livia blackbrune

Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Hyperion
Published: 2018
Reviewer Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths 

Umbertouched by Livia Blackbrune is a fantasy novel set in the Rosemarked series. This is the third book in the series. Normally I wouldn’t have started with the third book in a series, but luckily for this author, (Like she really needs my help) I did not realize this was the case and was drawn into the tale and enjoyed it so completely, I did not care I was coming in on the end of the story. I will tell you another thing, if you have read Blackbrune’s earlier novels and liked them, you will be in for a huge treat with this novel and should just order it immediately.

The story focuses on the continuing journey Of Zivah a young female healer and her companion, a warrior named Dineas. They have a long and complicated back story and Dineas is torn after being forced to live two lives, which ended up with him having friends and allies on both sides of the building war. Zivah is slowly dying from the plague, but this may not hurt as much as her broken heart for she loved the man Dineas no longer is.

The novel balanced between these two trying to save their tribes from the Emperor’s army and discovering if they can find their way back to the feelings they once shared for each other within a different life. This is a fantasy novel but remains on the low fantasy side of the bell curve. Besides a plague, which tends to happen, the only fantastic thing these characters can do is communicate enough with their crows for their birds to perform tasks and find people.

This is the first Five Star review I have given in over a year. If you enjoy fantasy, I think you will love this series. Not much to complain about here other then they could have been clearer about where this book rested within the series. Yet, if they had, I would not have read it and since I enjoyed it so much, I am pleased this stayed hidden from me.

Zivah and Dineas are great characters. Each is thoughtful, complex, and deep. They are also brave heroes who solve problems by doing things their own way. Chaotic Good in action one might say. I loved how the plot evolved as did these two. Emotions ran high and the author pulls on the heart of the reader. I felt very involved with each of them and at the risk of sounding cliché, I couldn’t put this one down.

After reading mostly lackluster books for over a year, I was so pleased to read such a strong novel. If you have read the other Rosemarked novels, order this today. This story was a real pleasure and I enjoyed it from cover to cover.

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