Review: Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, book 2)

Review: Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, book 2)

31 October 2013

The story so far …
The Lynburns are back in the small English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale – and they have a dark secret: They are sorcerers. When Kami first found out, she hardly believed it – but then again she had also just found out that her life-long companion and supposedly imaginary friend Jared was not so much imaginary, but very real indeed and part of the Lynburn family.

And then other things happened: Jared’s uncle turned out to be a magical bad guy, looking for supporters among the townspeople – who all seemed to have been in on the the Lynburn’s secret -, Kami discovered that she herself was a source, someone who can fuel a sorcerer’s power by binding their power to herself – also making them subject to her will –, and lastly she lost Jared. He had severed the connection. He had had to, but it had changed everything – and not for the better. And if all of that wouldn’t be hard enough, Rob is still scheming and has to be stopped before worse things might happen.

Book 2 of The Lynburn Legacy begins shortly after the events of Unspoken. Kami is still trying to cope with the fact that Jared’s not only gone from her mind, literally, but also acting distant and unfriendly. She’s still unsure what to think about her mother, who knew what was going on long before Kami did, but never told her. And to top it all off, Rob seems to have managed to recruit half of Sorry-in-the-Vale to his cause, and is now wreaking havoc to force the rest of the town to also submit to him. In short: Kami’s life pretty much turned into total chaos. Whom to trust? What to do concerning Rob? And also: Who the hell kissed her in the hallway? Surely not Jared after how he’s been treating her? Maybe it was Ash after all, Jared’s just as magical cousin who’s once been on Rob’s side, but now seems to try hard to redeem himself. Life’s tough right now for this strong-minded teenage sleuth – but also kinda exciting, if you ask her.

Whereas Unspoken was very much a classic gothic novel with dark secrets to uncover and mysterious happenings to be explained, Untold seems to shift a bit more towards the typical YA genre, with its fair share of teenage angst and emotional turmoil: Kami struggles with her feelings for both Jared and Ash, Holly and Angela can’t quite work around the fact that Holly’s in love while Angela just wants to be friends, and a few misunderstandings play their own part in making the situation even worse. As is typical for Sarah, all readers be warned about possible emotional trauma while reading.
Still playing into the gothic genre, however, we also find out more about how the Lynburns used to rule before they left Sorry-in-the-Vale, about who’s on whose side among the townsfolk, we get to know more magical families, and also discover quite a bit more about how magic and sources work.

What I loved most about Untold is the same as usual when it comes to Sarah’s books: The scenes where she combines action with emotion. In my favourite scene in book 2 Kami storms after Jared who’s trying to do a ceremony to increase his powers, practically committing suicide. Kami’s mad, afraid, relieved, proud – all at once –, while Jared’s sorry, brave, desperate and reckless, all at once. And it all seems perfectly plausible, and perfectly composed. The book is full of scenes like this one, where the reader is all tied up in what’s happening while, in a very positive way, hardly able to cope with all that’s going on on the emotional level. As I said before, be prepared for emotional trauma.

Personally I would have preferred a bit less relationship drama (the “does s/he love me or not”-back-and-forth was bit too much, if you ask me) and I would have loved to learn a bit more about the secret of the Crying Pools and the drowned woman who obviously plays a big part in the Lynburn’s general mystery, but all in all the book was well-balanced between action, mystery and emotion. Plus the cliffhanger at the end was no better than the one Unpoken ended with and left me more than stoked to read Unmade.

With Untold Sarah once again proved her talent for writing exciting, immersive stories, featuring witty dialogue, unexpected plot twists and characters you can’t help but love or hate – or both –, all in the most positive of senses.
Those of you who, like me, can’t wait for the final part in The Lynburn Legacy might want to check out Sarah’s new short story »The Night After I Lost You, which is set directly after the events of Unspoken.
Book3, Unmade, will be released sometime in 2014.

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