Reign Returned: The Felserpent Chronicles: Book One
Reviewed by Chelsy Scherba for Reader Views (12/2022)
“Reign Returned” written by Katie Keridan, is the first book in the young adult series, “The Felserpent Chronicles.” In ancient days, the Felserpent King and Queen made a pact that would endure the ages and ensure a future salvation for their people; but civil war broke out and divided their kingdom by blood, causing Astrals, Daevals, and their animal Cyphers to embody hatred and prejudice for the other. Present day Sebastian Sayre is a Daeval intent on one goal: retrieving the Felserpent King’s sword Rhannu to make himself invincible. The only problem is, he can’t enter the realm of the dead without the help of a Recovrancer. Kyra Valorian is a young, talented Astral healer who is next in line to become the top healer in her realm, but her world is turned upside down when she meets Sebastian and feels an intense connection to him she doesn’t understand. Through trials and tense moments, the couple learn more about themselves, the past, and the politics of their realms, while discovering their part in the shared destinies of their people.
Wow, what can I say? This was a book I didn’t want to finish because I was enjoying it too much! The characters and the world are so richly detailed that this is a place you want to savor being in and learning more about. Initially, the introduction of the world is a little slow-paced, but well-worth the investment to understand the political tensions and relationships going forward. However, once the groundwork is laid, the book continues its momentum forward while introducing more details and character building as the story develops.
I liked that there weren’t too many characters and concepts to follow. The story mostly revolves around Kyra, Sebastian, their talking animal Cyphers (who are basically like spiritual guides), and the Astral and Daevalic realms. The politics were probably the most complicated thing in the book, but they made the world feel real and believable while giving the characters challenges and stakes to overcome. This was a book with clean material appropriate for teens and young adults that was also fun to read. I’m sure I’ll read this book again in preparation for the sequel.
I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Kyra and Sebastian. Their behavior towards one another was reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice and thoroughly entertained me. I found myself smiling or giggling throughout the book and looking forward to reading it each time I picked it up. I feel this book combines everything people liked about Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games while also being its own unique story with well-written characters and places that stick with you.
I loved that the author completed the story in a satisfactory way, while also ending with an intriguing tease for what’s to come in future installments. This series has the potential to become the next young adult sensation, so I highly recommend this entertaining book to all lovers of magic, animals, fantasy, and romance.