Before the Storm is the exciting new book in the new Windwalker series from Claire Ashgrove, many of you may know her for the equally awesome The Curse of the Templar series that I adore but now she takes a dip into the Urban Fantasy/PNR genre.
I really liked the story to this and it opens up a very promising world for the reader to discover. I definitely connected with our main character – Halle Rhoads- it’s hard not to when you get her story and you see a girl brimming with unbridled power, who has lost everything at a young age but covers her insecurities with her attitude…. she is driven, driven to protect the sister -who doesn’t even know she lives- from a tyrannical uncle and it’s whilst putting her plan into action that she is accosted by a mysterious man who knows far too much about her…considering she’s meant to be dead! He promises her lessons in controlling her erratic magic, if she will accompany him back to his home… but what does he want in return? Halle doesn’t trust anyone and has learned there is always a price to be paid. What ensues between the two will make you laugh, make you smile, make you gasp and definitely pull on those heart strings as a battle of wills turns into something deeper. I liked the pairing, I thought they complimented each other and I liked that Kale could see through Halle’s defence mechanisms, it gave their relationship that extra depth with him understanding her on all levels and how she should be treat & educated, she pretty much ‘gets’ him too and it has a fated feel to the blossoming relationship, I also love that through this we get a few glimpses into both of their insecurities & fears, endearing them more to me.
As I mentioned, the story line opens up a very promising world filled with magical people who can control elements, nature, power, illusions, the physical form & even the dead which is all displayed very well throughout the book and as all good fantasy style books should…. I want to see it, I can picture it in my head through the great descriptions but to actually see it visually would be amazing because the battles, the fights and even the training using the magic available would be stunning! The introduction into this world really got my interest and I loved learning it alongside Halle, we already know that there is a firm enemy and a lot of people share Halle’s goal but there is so much more to be explored through the different ‘clans’ and their areas of magic, so many secrets to uncover, magic to be unravelled and learnt, goals to be achieved, alliances to be made and battles to be won, even the hint of a prophecy…. But this is just the start and whilst it was great to get to know the basics, the next book promises so much more…. Can’t wait!