March 5, 2022

ARC REVIEW: The Undine's Tear (Rise of the Grigori Book 1) by Talena Winters

The Undine's Tear (Rise of the Grigori Book 1) 
by Talena Winters
Rating: 3 Stars
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Format: eARC (From Book Sirens)
Publisher: My Secret Wish Publishing

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The Undine’s Tear by Talena Winters was a hard book to review. I really had to push myself to finish it - there were multiple times where I considered marking it as DNF (did not finish). For some reason, getting through the first part of the book was arduous. I think it was at the halfway point that the action really picked up and I started to enjoy the read. I think part of the reason that the book was so hard to get through is the amount of detail there is to contend with (thankfully, the glossary and the maps that are provided do make things slightly easier). The numerous characters are also hard to keep track of while reading. 

I was initially pulled in by the title, the description, and the cover (the cover is truly gorgeous). I really enjoyed the author’s imagery and worldbuilding (as an avid fantasy reader, this is always great in the first book of a new fantasy series). I would recommend this book to fantasy readers who feel like they would enjoy a unique take on the myth of mermaids and sirens, and aren’t intimidated by a very long book. 

Thank you to the author, My Secret Wish Publishing, and Book Sirens for my complimentary review copy of the book. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review The Undine’s Tear immensely. Please note - I voluntarily read and reviewed the book. All opinions expressed in the review are my own and not influenced in any way.

About the Book
She's destined to save the world . . . if she doesn't destroy it first.

Calandra has always known her destiny-to restore the Heartstone that protects her island from humans before she goes Mad like the healer who sank Atlantis. But when she learns she needs both male and female undine powers to succeed, she becomes desperate-there hasn't been an undine male born for over three thousand years. Her queen aunt insists she follow tradition and use the siren mind-bond on a human consort instead, but how can she enslave her childhood friend Osaze, the one man she's sworn to risk a death sentence to free?

When a cryptic message offers hope for her sanity and reveals a brother who shouldn't exist, Calandra questions everything she's been taught to believe. But the horrifying claims about the bonds the message contains could tear her island apart. With no idea where her brother is, can Calandra heal the Heartstone, avoid a revolution, save the man she loves, and right a millenniums-old wrong before she loses control and destroys the world?

The Undine's Tear is the first book in the mind-blowing young adult epic historical fantasy series Rise of the Grigori. Mermaids and dragons like you've never seen them before fill this intricately woven tale packed with complex characters, lush world-building, gritty action, and impossible odds. Join Calandra in a search for redemption that will threaten the very fabric of the universe.

About the Author

Talena Winters writes page-turning fiction for teens and adults in multiple genres including young adult, urban fantasy, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction.

Her first novel, an inspirational romance called The Friday Night Date Dress, was released just two weeks after the sudden and traumatic death of her three-year-old son in 2015. This experience dramatically changed her outlook on life, love, death, and faith. She wrote her second novel, Finding Heaven, a romantic suspense about a woman recovering from an abusive past, as an expression of that newfound understanding. Praise for that book has been overwhelmingly positive, with one reader calling it "the most beautifully-written book I have ever read." (Kristin Dyck, editor of Mile Zero News.)

Since then, she has begun a young adult historical epic fantasy trilogy called Rise of the Grigori. The first book, The Undine’s Tear, has been praised as “un-put-downable” and a "hit out of the fantasy ballpark." A stand-alone prequel, The Waterboy, is available as a free ebook from her website. The second book, The Sphinx's Heart, will be released in November 2021.

Besides fiction, she also writes a blog, knitting patterns, and, for many years, was the lead writer for regional magazine Move Up. She is passionate about helping develop other writers’ stories as a freelance editor. Having started her career in the music industry, she has written several award-winning songs and has an almost-finished musical waiting in the wings.

She grew up on the prairies of central Alberta, Canada, in the small town of Sylvan Lake and currently resides on an acreage in the Peace Country of northern Alberta with her husband, three surviving boys, two dogs, and an assortment of farm cats.

She loves travel, music, whole food, sewing, knitting, reading, and chocolate. She is addicted to tea and silver linings. She would love to be a mermaid when she grows up.

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