By: Emily Ruhl
Published by: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: April 10, 2022
Reviewed By: Amy Lignor
Review Date: February 25, 2022
As a fan of Harry Potter, books like Pride and Prejudice, and legends that are so intricate and amazing that I become speechless when they are presented by an author, I must thank this writer. She has put together a story that offered up all of my favorite things in just the first chapter alone of her new book The Bonds Between Us. I’m not over-exaggerating, either; being a debut novel, I was enchanted by the culture and personality she put forth when describing the breathtaking realm of Venice, Italy, and was equally stunned by her perfect presentation of a new outlook on the well-used idea of soulmates. Basically...I couldn’t find a single misstep where this book is concerned.
Readers first meet Katya Anders. Originally from the U.S., she’s sitting in a darkened library researching her next book. She has had a somewhat frightening childhood because of her unique ‘species.’ Referred to as a Daski, Katya is part of a monster family tree that has had a curse placed on it—because of their danger to humans and others, Daski must deal with eternities filled with nothing but loneliness. She also owns the power to kill. It is only the pale blue beaded necklace Katya has worn for fifteen years that has kept her concealed from various people who wish to do her harm. It also locks away her own powers, preventing the ice flowing in Katya’s veins to have any freedom. Although she has control over her magic, it is still too volatile to be trusted.
After graduation, she moved to Venice and lives with her best friend, Nina. They share an apartment and Nina knows all about Katya and her background. She also knows that Katya, although coming from monsters, has a huge heart and is not a horrific creature whatsoever. (Nina is a big reader and is the one, by the way, reading my favorite Pride and Prejudice while cooking pasta for dinner.)
When Katya leaves the library and rushes to get back to the apartment to join Nina for dinner, she helps out a little girl and, when she turns around, butts directly into a stunning young man who ends up falling on the stone street. Helping him up, she stares into the man’s chocolate-colored eyes and feels a strange, unknown warmth flow through her body. Finding out his name is Matteo—a musician who just moved to Venice a short time ago—they finally break free from the power they feel for one another and schedule a date for the very next day. But when Katya comes home and Nina spots a blue and red tattoo of woven lines around Katya’s wrist, Nina informs her that she has been adorned with a soulmark – something Katya shouldn’t have because of fate’s curse that her kind is destined to remain alone for life.
Using her logic and knowledge, Katya finds it impossible for she and Matteo to be soulmates. From their reputations to their completely different bloodlines and backgrounds, they are socially unacceptable at best. But when an old folktale comes to light that always seemed to be more fiction than fact when Venetians told the legend long ago, these two sudden soulmates must find a way to work together, trust one another, and deal with the rules and regulations of an ancient ‘society’ in order to save Venice from the forces of pure and utter evil.
Author Emily Ruhl gets high praise from this reviewer, because all facets of this debut are intriguing. Characters, plotline, twist and turns, magic on par with Potter and his friends – heck, even the cover is cool! One of the greatest parts of this story is the fact that, when you complete it, you will be so excited to know that there are two more coming in the future. “5-Stars!”
Quill says: The Bonds Between Us is book 1 of a trilogy that, if this first tale proves anything, will become a magical series not to be missed!
For more information on The Bonds Between Us (The Web of Wyrd Trilogy, Book One), please visit the author's website at: emilyruhlbooks.com