ARC Review: Altered Destiny by Shawna Thomas

Format: E-bookaltereddestiny
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: Standalone
Sensuality: 3
Hero: Jaden
Heroine: Selia
Date of Publication: September 19, 2011
Started On: September 16, 2011
Finished On: September 18, 2011

Altered Destiny by Shawna Thomas is a novel that is going to be well received by fans of urban-fantasy romances with a bit of adventure tossed right into the mix. Though fantasy romances aren’t that high on my favorites list in the world of romance, even with the first couple of chapters Shawna Thomas managed to reel me in and hold my attention until it was difficult for me to imagine anything else but the wondrous world which she has spun so well in this novel.

There are the good old-fashioned humans and a race known as the Svistra whose savagery and notorious thirst for blood and pillaging keeps the humans awake at night. 20 year old Selia lives on the Outskirts and is the owner of the tavern that her mother left behind upon her death 5 years back. Though well versed in the art of defending herself, when it comes to love and desire, Selia is an innocent all the way. 

When Selia rescues a man being beaten to death only to find out that he is a Svistra, the uncomplicated life that she has known till then changes completely, plunging her into a world filled with uncertainty, treachery, man’s thirst for vengeance and war and last but not the least the possibility of finding ever lasting love in the last place she expects to find it.

When Jaden’s golden gaze lands on his savior little does he know that the fearless woman who stands before him would come to mean everything to him. Having turned his back on his own race because his ideas didn’t mesh with that of his father who is the leader of the Svistra, Jaden makes his way through the many different terrains that makes up their world until his journey brings him to the Outskirts and Selia with her gentle giant of a companion Oren. 

Never having being one to turn away a man or animal in need, the forced intimacy that caring for an injured brings to light the fact that humans may not have the complete picture when it comes o the Svistra. Jaden proves to be the opposite of what Selia has believed to be of the Svistra until now and when time and time again Jaden proves his loyalty, honesty and integrity in boundless different ways, Selia is no match to her heart’s yearning for a man whose mere presence alone is enough to send her whole world into a tailspin.

Jaden might want to do the honorable thing and stay away when it comes to Selia but his heart’s yearning for a woman who seals her fate unknowingly by joining him in the most scared manner possible is one that refuses to be denied. But Jaden knows that without going back and facing those whom he has left behind and winning over the treacherous ruler who leads the whole Svistra clans towards endless war, there would never be a peaceful future for either the humans or the Svistra.

Opening up a world that has so many intriguing aspects to it that I couldn’t help but want even a crudely drawn map of where everything was situated, Altered Destiny tells the tale of brave men and a woman willing to fight for what they believe in. Jaden’s character is an alluring one, one who made my heart yearn for him and of course love him because he has that inner strength that lets him be true to himself and what he believes in. Jaden’s honesty and integrity is what drew me most towards his character, and the way he is possessive of Selia even when he believes he has nothing of substance to offer her made my heart go pitter patter.

Selia is a wonderful heroine whom I loved from the instance she couldn’t turn her back on a wounded man. Even knowing that caring for a Svistra would end up in herself paying for it in blood doesn’t stop her from doing what’s right. The slow awakening of Selia’s senses when it comes to Jaden is something to be savored. And a heroine who doesn’t believe in being coy and has no qualms about being herself is one that always earns my wholehearted approval. Worthy of a mention is her relationship with Oren, a man gentle as he is huge, a character who will remain with me for a long time even after I am done with the book. His simplistic view on life, right and wrong proved to be quite refreshing in a novel that practically seeps with half truths and the treachery that goes right along with the hunger for ultimate power.

Though there were certain aspects of the novel such as the occasional swear words which just felt out of place with the whole tone set for the rest of the story and the fact that the final showdown between Jaden and his brother never fully materialized in the novel, I still enjoyed this immensely and would definitely recommend this to fans of the genre.

One character from the story that I would love a future book to be based on, if Ms. Thomas ever thinks of writing a sequel is Nathan. If Jaden had not been in the picture, I would have completely given myself over to him. And even with Jaden in the picture, his character nevertheless proved to be a compelling one, which is telling in itself how remarkable a talent Ms. Thomas has when it comes to creating her characters.


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