The Reclaimed Kingdom {Syphon #1}

Author: Dana Claire

Genre & Themes: Fantasy, Adventure

Publication Date: February 14th, 2021

Publisher: Chamberlain Publishing House (self published)

Trigger Warnings: suicide, rape

Synopsis

Under the cruel ministrations of its Queen, the Kingdom of D’Land is in peril. With King Harrison away in foreign lands and neighboring Kingdoms unwilling to intervene, there is no one to protect the people from poverty, harsh punishment, and unreasonable rules of law – except for the Band of Brothers.

Struggling with the death of her mother and the legendary Syphon powers she inherited, seventeen year old Dru wants nothing more than to escape her old life and join the motley crew of ruffians, pilfering from the rich to feed the poor and pay their taxes. She’s able to do just that disguised as a lad, and even when her nature is discovered, nothing changes – except for the way her friend Hawkin treats her. But Dru’s new world is overturned when she and the Brothers seize the treasures of a Prince who threatens to reveal her identity.

Together, Dru and her chosen family must find a way to reclaim her destiny and bring balance to the Kingdom. If not, there may be no hope left for anyone.

When you pre-order or purchase through the bookshop.org link I get a small commission.

+ ARC received from BookSirens in exchange for an honest review +


First of all… D’Land. It’s the name of the country they live in. I didn’t like it. I know it’s nit-picky, but it annoyed me slightly ever time I read it.

This book reads as if Hannah Montoya’s “Pick Me Girl” were the main character. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here are two of her short reels that give you an idea: here and here.

Dru (MC) is just one of the guys. All of the male characters constantly tell her how great she is and how much better she as at everything and how they really only need to send her on hunting trips because she can do it by herself. Oh, and she’s told how pretty she is as well – if only she didn’t always have dirt on her face.


“Most of the lasses hadn’t understood my relationship with the men. Hell, even I was astounded by it at times.”

The Reclaimed Kingdom, page 37


Other girls don’t understand having guy friends. She’s different because she curses at the men all the time. And she doesn’t need any saving even when she’s literally dying.

That sounds petty – and it is – but it really grated on my nerves. But that’s not the only thing about Dru that tested my patience.

(also, can we get past this idea that you can’t ever be saved, ever?? If you’re in a life-or-death situation and someone comes along to help there’s nothing wrong with letting them help)

I hate the way Dru describes other female characters.

This book is told in first person, so we get to see the inside of Dru’s head and what she thinks about others. And when she describes the other women… she always focuses on the size of their boobs. And BTW that’s their only personality trait. Oh – and that they’re interested in Dru’s love interest.

She even goes the route of comparing her small chest to the other women and talking about her inferiority. I’m over reading main characters who look at other women as an example of their inferiority. I’m over main characters who give a shit about how they look at all tbh.

There are two other women in the story – both evil – one is described basically as a man (super tall and muscled and literally emotionless) and the other the the main villain who, at best, was one dimensional. The former description made me a little uncomfortable, but I don’t think I can put my finger on why.

Also, one last quote for you all:


“‘How long has it been?’ Dodge asked. ‘How long since you’ve been inside D’Land’s castle walls?’

‘Too long–and then again, maybe not long enough.’ I blew out a breath I had not realized I’d been holding.'”

The Reclaimed Kingdom, page 104


THIS DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE.

It’s not a tense moment! They’re just casually talking! And she forgets to breathe! I can’t even.

My final note is on the love triangle, and here’s where I have to give props. For the most part, she’s pretty good at showing how torn Dru is, and why both of them are good options.

HOWEVER. One of them spent the first half of the book being a possessive, quick-to-anger, growling asshole. And you guys know how I feel about that. And the other turned kinda manipulative in the end, which sucked too.

Overall I gave The Reclaimed Kingdom two stars. I almost chose three stars, but I was struggling to find things I liked about it. It was easy enough to read, and a little entertaining, so tat least there’s that. I won’t continue the series. But I can see how others might like it. For me, it missed a lot of marks.

Disclaimer: my review is based on my life experience and reading preferences. It’s not an attack on the author, or others who liked or disliked the book.

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