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What Lies Within Us*

An American Woman with Magical Irish Roots

We meet American Kyna soon after she lands in Ireland. An Irish aunt has summoned her here. Apparently, adopted Kyna is actually descended from a long line of magical people, and Kyna was sent away as an infant and her magic hidden and diffused. Kyna doesn’t know quite what to think of all this at first. Soon, she is immersed in this magical world right in the middle of an ancient feud.

How will Kyna adapt to this new knowledge about herself? What of the two men who have been tasked to protect and train her?

This is the first time I have read either of these authors. I found the language to be excessively overblown to the point of being difficult to read. It was so unnatural, both in the narrative sections and in dialogue. Not every noun, feeling, action, or event has to be described in excruciating detail to be adequately shown and not told; metaphor, simile, and other literary devices may be occasionally left at the wayside. The narrative sections often went on for quite a while without a dialogue break, and I personally find that difficult to read. I’ll do a share a few quotes below to show what I mean.

The book had some surprising problems with grammar, punctuation, and usage. At times, wrong tenses were used. There were some close-but-not-quite-right words like taut versus taunt. At times, there were too many commas.

Here are a few examples of what I think are overwritten prose:

“While she presumed the stone to be a light grey in the light of day, it accosted her with looming shades of smoke, as if old and charred, from her storm-shielded, misty view. The metallic shriek of her door opening sent a wave of panic crashing over her. From her teeth set on a painful edge, to that cold slither of fear down her spine, she forced herself to ignore each physical sensation, each body betrayal.”

“You will be the death of me, enchanted lady, and I will glory in the coming of it. Pardon me for saying so, so soon, but I think I’m in love with you, and it’s the most terrifying thing I’ve ever delighted in.”