4 out of 5 stars
Description provided by Amazon Kindle Store:
Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.
Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.
Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.
What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.
This is actually the first book of Amy Harmon’s that I’ve read. I feel like I’m late to the party because she’s written 14 novels and has been published in 18 different languages. Those are both really impressive numbers. I’m hoping to try a few of her other books as well.
The First Girl Child opens up with a map of the land of Saylok. I cannot tell you how much I love when books have maps. I absolutely love seeing it. I feel way more involved and it helps me better understand where everything is.
Other than that positive, let’s get a few negatives out of the way. I personally felt like there was a lot of jumping forward in time with the story. We’ll see the characters one day and then we fast forward years and months ahead. This is really only a small complaint though. The time gaps make sense and it allowed the story to progress without a bunch of boring and minute details.
I would have enjoyed diving deeper into the connection that Bayr and Alba had. I’m not upset that they have the bond, I believe they’re written well together. I just want to understand why it’s there. I will, very begrudgingly, accept the answer, “his mother’s curse”. I say begrudgingly because I want to know more about the curse and the runes in that case.
Another mild dislike I had was the brief inclusion of Jesus Christ and the bible. It’s honestly so brief and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the story as a whole. It just completely threw me off. It made sense that different religions were discovered and discussed, but there was actual magic (curses, runes being used for better sight, etc.) happening. It made me feel as if this was happening on Earth and not an imagined land and that was difficult for me.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to the positives. Amy Harmon has a really nice way of weaving in and out of different characters’ points of view. It was very smooth. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed reading through each character’s eyes. At no point did I start to wish to read from someone else’s point of view or wished that I was somewhere else in the story.
Overall, the book was very enjoyable. There are points at the end where you can kind of see where everything is going. There’s a vague prophecy that we get to see that essentially shows you what’s going to happen. The journey to get to the end is still absolutely amazing though. I was pleasantly surprised at how Harmon decided to wrap everything up. It was a pretty good feel-good ending.
Even with some minor complaints, I seriously enjoyed myself.
If you haven’t read The First Girl Child, then I recommend you get it! It’s a wonderfully written tale. It’s hard not to love Bayr. He’s a really sweet character and I want nothing but happiness for him and those he loves.
Have you read Amy Harmon before? What did you think of her work? Also, is there any books you want me to read and review in the future? Let me know in the comment section below!
If you enjoyed reading, then I hope you’ll consider supporting me through my Ko-Fi (Click Me). All of your support allows me to keep writing and following my dreams.
Thank you for reading. Please be kind to one another and have a good day!