The Chrysillium Tree – Laken Honeycutt

I quit reading. My life has been too messy lately, too stressful, and somehow books couldn’t distract me anymore. Their stories didn’t involve me as they used to, so I just quit. I spent a summer full of outdoor activities, dinners with friends, games with my kids. I had a great time, but… Well, I felt like a part of me wasn’t there anymore. Then The Chrysillium Tree came, and everything changed again.

Separated from her family and her homeland, Mæve Faolái struggles to navigate her new life in the Palace of Light. With the cruelty of her abductors, and the lecherous advances of a Crown Prince lurking around every corner, she longs for freedom and to find her parents.

But once Mæve learns the vile truth involving the Azantium exploitation of the Lumani’s sacred chrysillium trees, she shares these secrets with a Lumani man in the woods. When things take an unexpected turn, Mæve finds herself caught between a forbidden love and a burgeoning rebellion as she awakens a part of herself long forgotten.

I loved this book. I loved almost everything about it. Mæve is an interesting character, and rooting for her is so easy because she’s fierce and courageous, but also kind, intelligent and humble. She’s given a task early in the novel, and no matter how dire things are, she does everything in her power to reach her goals.

Pretty amazing, huh? To be fair, all the characters, both good and evil ones, are impressive. I enjoyed reading their stories as they intertwined into an intriguing plot. A special mention to Isaac, who is and will forever be my favorite. What can I say? I’m a sucker for handsome characters in search of redemption. I adore him and, while I understand why he ended up going where he did, I’m so disappointed by… Wait, I will not tell you that!

Simple and clear, the story works well. Every aspect is taken into consideration, and everything is important. The level of detail the author put into it amazed me. I love it when seemingly unimportant details turn out to be pivotal for solving mysteries or unlocking fresh paths, and Laken Honeycutt seems to have mastered this skill.

World building is an important aspect in a Fantasy novel, and not an easy one to nail. Sometimes things look a certain way for the shock factor more than an actual reason, and it’s okay, but I appreciate when things have their own purpose: the more everything is linked, the more it’ll surprise me and the more I’ll appreciate a book.

I love this one.

Another characteristic I love is how some aspects of the world Mæve lives in affect its inhabitants. World building is important, and this book nails it. The setting is immersive and easy to imagine. I like to think a wonderful book makes you forget you exist for a while, and this is indeed how I felt with this one. It took me three hours top to devour the complete novel, and as soon as I closed the metaphorical book, I wanted to know more. I need a sequel about Isaac to see where his path is leading him!

Now, is there anything I didn’t like about this novel? Yes. I share a name with one of the bad guys and it broke my heart! Truth be told, it’s an obnoxious name and I think it fits the character, but still… No, I’m obviously kidding here. The chapter in question bothered me a little because it’s her only POV chapter, but this only makes me curious to discover if she’ll be a recurring character in the series. And I can see why it was useful to further the plot, so I’m at peace with it.

A must-read if you love the genre and if you’re into cute love stories. 5/5.

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