Book Review: Vardaesia by Lynette Noni
Updated: Oct 17, 2019
“Don’t fear the shadows. Make the shadows fear you.”
I’m not ashamed to say, I first picked up this series because of the gorgeous cover art. Secondly, the plot seemed incredible—a hidden world, a school of magic (or interesting science), students with abilities of similar to X-men, a magic library, long lost races and plenty of fun inventions which I wish we could use. The world of Medora continues to expand with this installment, and I’m always eager to find out more beautiful and quirky things Lynette Noni reveals about the Medorans.
In this book, Alexandra Jennings is making her final attempt, together with her friends, fellow students and teachers to save Medora from the banished prince, Aven. It is nice to see how Alex has found her rhythm in the world. Although, it created some entertaining moments in the first books when she had just arrived and had no idea what was going on. Her overdose on Dillyberry Juice still makes me smile.
She has also grown to hold her tongue in respect for elders or monarchy of other races. In these moments, the Alex at the beginning of the series would have mouthed off whatever she felt was most important at that moment, no matter who she was talking to. Instead, she seems to have realised the weight of her role and that she needs to give respect to gain it from the races which they need help from.
Unlike the worlds of many other young adult fantasy series, it’s refreshing that Alex’s parents are alive, and even though they have interests of their own, they still love each other as a family.
Alex’s friends are still so important to her. I like that she attempts to check in with them individually to make sure they are going ok, despite all their losses and the looming battles. The relationship between Alex and Kaiden is so gentle, and it didn’t distract from the main plot—saving the world was most important to them, no matter what it took. Alex had plenty of surprises for her friends, and they for her.
Despite the significance of events happening at the close of the war with Aven, there were many humorous moments. The reactions of Alex and her friends to other races and their decorating style, had me laughing and is so typical of human nature.
I was genuinely scared for the characters at certain points. They go through so much both physically and mentally/emotionally. Friendships are tested in the worst ways possible. There are so many moments which made me cry, both good and bad. Plus, the ending was wonderfully and tragically unexpected in how it was resolved.
This is Lynette Noni’s first series, and as a fellow Australian, I’m so excited for her success, especially with Vardaesia topping the charts. She is so cool! Check out her acknowledgments in the book—they’re the best I’ve read. Somehow it’s really obvious in this book that Lynette is friends with Sarah J Maas (internal squeal!).
She has hinted that Vardaesia is not the end of The Medoran Chronicles. Can’t wait to see what further wonders she will create.
“To those who dare hope for a brighter future. Let your light shine.”
Read: Feb 2019