Blaize and the Maven (The Energetics Series #1) by Ellen Bard

Blaize and the Maven: Book 1 of The Energetics Series (Volume 1) - Ellen Bard

Blaize has just finished her first chakra trial and is an adept for fire – Manipura – and is now moving on to train her secondar chakra, Ajna, with renowned dream walker and prophet, Cuinn


However, Cuinn has had a terrible history with his previous adherent and is definitely not ready for another one. Especially since his dreams have been hinting at a terrible future he needs to uncover. The last thing he needs is an adherent under his feet


But Blaize may be an important part of the prophecy – and their enemies seem to think so when they target her.




This book is, firstly, a paranormal romance, it was how it was marketed and labelled. And that normally makes me look at the people who sent me this book and asking them if they’ve made any effort to examine Fangs because, in all honestly, we’re not a big fan of many of the paranormal romance we read


But I liked this book


The story works extremely well in addition to the romance. Yes, there’s a romance there, but there’s  plot there that exists above and beyond the romance. I have found a lot of paranormal romances have a plot line in addition to the romance, but it often exists just to further the romance – and you can tell. It’s generally shallow, under-developed and with plot holes you could drive a double decker bus through. Here the plot and the romance weren’t co-dependent on each other (which, when we think about it, makes a lot of sense. Romance may be important to the character, but it’s unlikely their love life is really going to have that much influence on the fate of the world etc. No, not even with the earth shattering orgasms).


There were some clichés to the romance I didn’t care for, or I’ve just seen so many times that I just don’t have patience for them any more. Both characters have past issues that make them reluctant to venture into a relationship (both of which are a little dubious). Both have tragic or semi-tragic pasts. Both get over said tragic pasts in such an unseemly length of time that I’m left wondering why the author felt the need to have them there at all. It’s like someone looked up a trope list and decided “hey, we need to have X, Y, and Z, put them in”. And, really, if you’re going to give your characters a compelling developed reason why they avoid relationships… fine – but actually have them avoid relationships. If it takes them 3 days to resolve these terribad issues before getting to the humping then maybe those issues shouldn’t be there



But there were also some nice subversions. While there are many exceptions, we still do see a lot of celebrating virginal or “gently used” women next to experienced, older and sexually more capable man. In this case neither party is a virgin and, if anything, Blaize is the instigator of a sexual relationship – she’s confident, experienced, a happy pleasure seeker. And she is the one who wants a sexual relationship rather than a romantic one. At no point is she shamed for this or looked down on for this – she is a sexual being and that’s never seen as a bad thing


She’s also the more capable fighter with more direct, fighting powers. She is trained to be a soldier, her element (fire) is considered the element of the Energetics who fight, while Cuinn is more cerebral with a psychic super power which is all about dream walking and seeing the future. She is the more physical and dangerous of the pair. It’s probably depressing that this is a subversion, but it generally is.


She is kidnapped – as seems to be an utter requirement for every female main character in a romance. But she does rescue herself almost entirely which does a lot to help remove the problem of this repeated trope.


I actually really like both characters – they’re very well realised with their own histories and viewpoints and their own very discernible opinions and voices. They’re very well realised and not just in terms of their romance. The secondary characters are only touched on so they’re much less developed - but we’re missing any of the usual female antagonism. There’s even a considerable level of sympathy for the villain no matter how angry Blaize is with them. While they’re not extremely well developed, I rather suspect that many of them will be developed in future books, if nothing else because I suspect they will be future romantic pairs in future books.



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