Book Review: Telesa – The Covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt Young

12964326Title: Telesa – The Covenant Keeper
Author: Lani Wendt Young
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 19th 2011
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Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions.

When Leila moves to her new home, all she wants is a family, a place to belong. Instead she discovers the local ancient myths of the telesa spirit women are more than just scary stories. The more she finds out about her heritage, the more sinister her new home turns out to be. Embraced by a Covenant Sisterhood of earth’s elemental guardians – what will Leila choose? Her fiery birthright as a telesa? Or will she choose the boy who offers her his heart? Daniel – stamped with the distinctive tattoo markings of a noble Pacific warrior and willing to risk everything for the chance to be with her. Can their love stand against the Covenant Keeper?
A thriller-romance with a difference. If you enjoyed Twilight, then you will be enthralled by Telesa as it blends the richness of Pacific mythology into a contemporary young adult love story that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page.

Telesa: The Covenant Keeper is an unique book. Unique, because it doesn’t talk about vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters or mermaids. And it’s still YA Paranormal Romance. That’s enough for me to be instant-read. I’m so tired of clichés that I’d take on anything that offers an unique and original paranormal species. This book offers spirit women instead. Intrigued? Read on.

After her father’s untimely death, Leila is trying to find a place where she belongs, and finding out who she truly is. She travels to Samoa, the home land of her mother, to find out more about her heritage. She tries to start anew, with a new school, new friends and a new, hot, swoonworthy boy to drool over named Daniel. While Leila and Daniel seem like two opposite ends of a stick at first, they quickly realize that the storm brewing between them is in fact chemistry. But the longer Leila spends on the island, the more she’s troubled by secrets from the past and a fire growing inside her heart and soul. When she finds out her mother is still alive, there are questions only her mother knows the answer to. So Leila will have to find the courage to meet the mother she doesn’t know, and to deal with the new relationship slowly developing between her and Daniel.

On top of that, Leila feels a strong connection to the land – one she can’t really explain. The connection may have something to do with ancient mythology and secrets long buried in the folds of history.

I’ve never been Samoa, but the author’s descriptions are very intriguing. I would definitely like to visit there after reading this book. It’s clear from the start that the author did her research well. As I already mentioned, a major plus is the lore. It’s different in this book – unique and compelling, and very well-described. Another major plus was the main character. I think I developed some kind of girl crush on Leila. She’s amazing. She’s so…normal. She behaves in a way that’s so completely like any sane, rational human being would behave, that she had me from the start. It’s difficult to develop a character that’s just spot on, but Lani Wendt Young succeeded in this when she created Leila. She’s stubborn when needs be, emotional when expected, just the right balance of rational and emotional that I could connect with her almost right away.

Then there’s Daniel. He’s swoonworthy in more than one way. I wouldn’t mind going to school with him as well. And even if their relationship was off to a rocky start, I do like Leila and Daniel as a couple. There’s a love triangle thrown in this book as well, but it doesn’t feel redundant for once.

Telesa – The Covenant Keeper is a must-read for fans of YA Paranormal Romance. Especially because of the original paranormal element – people feeling a rare and unique connection to the earth itself – one should definitely read it. The epic couple portraying the protagonists is just a bonus.

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