Banished by Liz De Jager
Author: Liz De Jager Website|Twitter
Published: 27 February 2014 (Tor)
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Source: Received free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Sworn to protect, honour and slay. Because chaos won’t banish itself…
Kit is proud to be a Blackhart, now she’s encountered her unorthodox cousins and their strange lives. And her home-schooling now includes spells, fighting enemy fae and using ancient weapons. But it’s not until she rescues a rather handsome fae prince, fighting for his life on the edge of Blackhart Manor, that her training really kicks in. With her family away on various missions, Kit must protect Prince Thorn, rely on new friends and use her own unfamiliar magic to stay ahead of Thorn’s enemies. As things go from bad to apocalyptic, fae battle fae in a war that threatens to spill into the human world. Then Kit pits herself against the Elder Gods themselves – it’s that or lose everyone she’s learnt to love.
Banished was one of my most anticipated releases of 2014 so I was super happy when a copy popped through my letterbox! The book follows Kit Blackhart who is just getting used to her new supernatural life when her abilities are called upon to save her family.
I really enjoyed the beginning of the book as we're introduced to Kit and her family. The real world, teenage life feel which made me instantly relate to Kit and provided a great balance to the fantasy side. I thought the magical side of the story and the world building was done really well. You were never overwhelmed with terminology, and at the start of each chapter were little exerpts from archives or history books etc. which provided you the history of Kit's world in nice bite-size chunks, without the need for exposition, which was incredibly smart and well done.
One of the real highlights of the book for me was the characters, particularly Kit and Thorn, and the developing relationship between them. The author has managed to carve out distinctive voices and personalities. There is a brilliant sense of humour weaved throughout the book that provided some really funny moments between all the characters. I thought Kit herself was particularly sharp and witty which drew me to her even more!
In terms of the fantasy side of the book, I loved the Banished had a little bit of everything. There were faeries, trolls and even dragons! (I was really, really excited when a dragon showed up.) It was just such a great mix of creatures and magic, all cleverly weaved into our own world. Even though there were a wide range of characters who come from different realms (the book takes place in two worlds; the Frontier which is the human world, and the Otherwhere) everything really flowed. Every character from every race fitted in perfectly with the story and everything was linked together really well.
I felt the first half of the book was a lot more focused on the characters, and on how Kit adapted to her situation. There was definitely that element of her going on a quest or journey to prove herself, and I love how she overcame the insecurities we see at the beginning of the book. The second half of the story is definitely more action packed, and although I probably enjoyed that first part more, it made for a well paced, exciting read throughout.
Banished will definitely appeal to a lot of readers. Fans of books such as Artemis Fowl and City of Bones will fall in love with the fantastic world Liz De Jager has created. The ending had me dying to read the next book and gave a good old tug at the heartstrings! I'm excited to see where things go from here.
What to read next: This is the first book in the Blackhart Legacy series
Books like this: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan