RELEASE DATE: May 02nd 2019
AUTHOR: Maya Motayne
GENRE: Young-Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Adventure.
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.
As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.
After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.
But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.
Nocturna was an entertaining fantasy debut inspired by the Latinx world. When I first heard about this book, I was really excited to read it, but after hearing all the mixed reviews I pretty much lowered my expectations, but surprisingly I found this very enjoyable. Both the main characters are pretty likable. The plot, the magic, and the setting were good. For a debut, I think it was a great start and I hope the next one is even better.
After a long voyage, Prince Alfehr returns to his homeland to ascend the Castallan throne but he isn’t willing to accept that his older brother Dez is truly dead. He’s not ready to be a king so he searches for his brother and he’s willing to do anything even use the forbidden dark magic. Finn Voy is a cunning thief and a talented shapeshifter. When she gets caught by a mobster, she’s forced to steal a legendary treasure from the Castallan empire. When Prince Alfephr’s path cross with Finn in the palace, they accidentally unlock a dangerous power that could devour the world and destroy humanity. In order to right his wrong, together with Finn, Alfehr tries to contain the evil power before it’s too late.
I’m sucker for morally grey characters and I really loved Finn Voy! She’s fun, sassy, rebellious, and totally kickass! I really liked her attitude and the way she outsmarted her enemies. On the other hand, we have Prince Alfehr who’s shy, naive, sweet, and a little bit stupid. Despite everyone’s warnings he’s stubborn about finding his brother which leads to disastrous consequences. I really enjoyed his character development even though he frustrated me sometimes. I liked the relationship between Finn and Alfehr and how they worked together despite their differences. Romance is very light in this book. It isn’t really the central focus but I can’t wait to see them together in the next book. As for the secondary characters, I liked Alfehr’s friend Luka aka The Bathtub Boy, and also Xiomara.
The plot was fast paced and engaging! Although the story-line was somewhat predictable, I really had fun reading it. At first, I thought it was about Prince’s Alfehr’s missing brother but the plot takes a surprising turn and I hope we get our answers in the next book. The characters were pretty fun so I never felt bored. I enjoyed the author’s writing style. For a debut, It was good. The Spanish words aren’t too hard to understand. The whole book was written in third person perspective. The world building and the magical system was great. I loved the map at the front. It was stunning. So far, I really enjoyed the setting and I hope we get to explore more of this world’s magic and culture in the upcoming books.
Overall, this was a good start to a new fantasy series! Despite flaws, I really enjoyed it. I’m glad there’s no huge cliffhanger at the end because it would frustrate me to no end. Anyways, I’m so looking forward to the next book cause I want more Finn and Alfehr!
I highly recommend this series to the people who like YA fantasy with magic, adventure, and a dash of romance.