Alex R.Kahler delivers a chilling postapocalyptic fantasy world in Runebinder [The Book Depository]. I picked this book because I’m all about runes and Nordic tales. Despite knowing this wasn’t precisely Viking related, I was curious about the world in which the Runebinder lived. So, I bought the book, and I read it in four days. I just couldn’t stop reading, even if some scenes were too gruesome for me.
Tenn is the involuntary hero of this book. He doesn’t ask to be unique, and yet he is. He was a geek before magic appeared in the world. And by the descriptions in the book, it looks like Tenn wanted to use magic because of Hogwarts. I can relate. I would have done the same. But the world in which he lives is brutal. Magic is both amazing, and something to fear.
[SPOILERS: this post contains spoilers from the book. Even if I don’t give away what’s up completely, please note that you’ll get spoiled.]
Magic has returned to the world, but instead of saving humanity, it doomed it. Howls plague the streets. They were human once, but now they hunger for blood and flesh. There’re many types of Howls, some dumb and others intelligent. Necromancers control the creatures, but in turn, the Kin command the necromancers. They all serve the Dark Lady in her pursuit to destroy everything. Only Hunters are fighting back using magic to protect what’s left of humanity.
Tenn is a hunter, and he’s out on a mission when his Water power unleashes hell on earth. No hunter using such an amount of magic has survived. But he does. And in doing so, everything changes. Jarrett and the twins appear after Tenn is visited by a super sexy incubus called Tomás. The Kin wants him, and so the Prophets. While Tomás only wants Tenn because his sister Leanna covets him, Jarrett has more than one reason to help Tenn.
The problem is that Tenn doesn’t believe in himself. Plainly speaking, he has issues. He was an outsider as a teen, a bullied geek who wanted to do something great. That’s why when magic appeared he saw the opportunity to do something great. Thus, he enrolled the magic academy. He controls Water and Earth, but Water sometimes controls him. Water makes you feel all your regrets, and in his case, what happens in places. All the horrors of the past, and all the lost lives in a particular place.
Tenn hurts all over. Not only his body is in pain, but his heart is also sweet, and he hates to kill. Those Howls were human once. We can just see his rage when everything is taken from him. Wherever he goes, death follows. And yet, there’s hope. Jarrett offers Tenn a future where he can have a resemblance to the life he wanted: a husband, a family, a house… Tenn and Jarrett love each other, but the world they live in is brutal. And so, when running away from Matthias, a necromancer, Jarrett gains time for the twins and Tenn to escape.
The key to succeed and get rid of the Kin is to know what the runes mean. Dreya and Devon, the twins, know where the witches are. The witches are the only ones that can help Tenn unravel the mystery. Using the runes correctly, he’ll be able to save humanity. The twins and Jarrett were sent by the Prophets to secure the future where humanity wins.
However, the Kin is fighting for Tenn as well. Tomás is a little bit like Loki: he helps Tenn, but he plays games. He’s an incubus and alluring. In fact, he seduces Tenn, but it’s apparently just lust. And yet, he’s a critical element of the book, and I guess of the next one as well.
Although I ship Tenn and Jarrett, I must admit that Tenn and Tomás is also a possible ship in my mind. But after decoding Tomás as Loki, I’m not that sure. The bigger foe might be the incubus. We won’t know for sure until the next book is out.
I found the beginning of the book a little bit hard, but as the story progressed, I got more hooked on it. Tenn is a great hero, even if he doesn’t feel like it. He’s sweet, noble, and badass. I just hope that the author decides to give him a great future with Jarrett by the end of the series. The twins also need to have redemption. Dreya kicks ass and yet she seems to do it fashionably.
What I loved about the story is that is a post-apocalyptic fantasy where anything is possible. It’s a dark world, and yet it’s entirely believable. I also loved that Tenn doesn’t come out in the book. He honestly loves and has all the butterflies in his stomach for the guy he loves, and lusts for the incubus that haunts him. The primary target of the book isn’t who Tenn loves, but how badass and amazing he is. He’s a hunter, and he controls Water and Earth. Plus, he can manage runes and make incredible things.
So, should you invest some time with Runebinder [The Book Depository]? Definitely, yes!
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Copyright: Images on this post (C) Runebinder (C) Harlequin Teen / Top banner made by dePepi.com with a (C) Runebinder official image.