Review: First of Spring by Kelsey Jordan

First of Spring by Kelsey Jordan
Series: The Gardinian World Series (# 3)
Release Date: June 4, 2015
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Pages: 310
Source: Book provided by publisher for review



Forged from a childhood filled with bloodshed and death, Trent had been raised with a blade in his hands. He lives the life of a warrior and carves through his enemies as if seeking redemption for his mother’s ultimate sacrifice. As the acting Mikko of the Order of Rockys, Trent leads the most dominant Lycans in the world. For that reason alone, he has no use or understanding for those who wallow in their vulnerabilities, rather than exercise their power over their own destiny.

Aryana doesn’t dream of everlasting love. Her life is ruled by a song that echoes from the halls of Oblivia, a fate that came to her under the thundering hooves of the Mares of Night. She is going to die, but with no clue as to when or why, Aryana is forced to do everything she can to negate the haunting words of fate,

“Weakness dies and you are weak.”

But the gods are merciless in their meddling in the lives of powerful mortals and the ones they love. How far will Trent have to fall for the weak female who steps in his life and claims his soul?


Review:  Combining mythical gods and goddesses with shapeshifters is a risky proposition for any author, but after being introduced to Kelsey Jordan’s Gardinian World series, it looks like it can work.

Although First of Spring is the third book in the series, it was my first foray into a world fraught with shapeshifters. With some books, it is easy to jump in mid-series, but this was not one. I believe that in order to fully enjoy the author’s creativity, it is best to start with the first book in the series. It would have been helpful to have reviewed the glossary prior to reading instead of jumping straight into the Lycan world.

The story focuses on Aryana and Trent. As a hybrid, there seems to be some holes in Aryana’s background that were probably outlined in one of the earlier stories. Without a quick overview of what has happened so far, it gets confusing with Variant Hunters, Talas and Alesers all appearing within the first few pages.

What is clear, however, is there is a dark cloud that surrounds Aryana’s future. When she is sent with Trent back to his compound for warrior training, it is evident there is an attraction, but neither one is willing to show weakness. It takes a series of events before they face the heated passion between them.

At that point in the story, I was expecting the ending to come soon with a typical “happily ever after” with all the details wrapped up neatly in a bow. That’s when the gods and goddesses took over and caused all sorts of chaos with a secondary storyline. Although the mythical component had been present from the beginning, it wasn’t until Aryana’s fate is realized that the connection becomes clear.

It takes a while — much longer than expected — before I felt satisfied as a reader because there were plenty of rabbit holes hiding in this storyline. Since it is in the paranormal genre, though, there’s not as much pressure to focus on reality.

I would recommend some light editing to tie up some grammatical errors, but overall, I found this to be quite an intriguing trip into a world where the story doesn’t end with death in the physical realm.