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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
J. Barrett’s fantasy story, Orabelle, is the first book in The Keepers Of Imbria series. Orabelle is the Queen of Lehar and can control water. Tal, her guardian, is also the man she wishes to spend her life with, but her father Chronos has other plans for her. She is to marry Blaise, the King of Veruca, who controls fire. Orabelle despises Blaise. While standing in her sister’s garden, Tal professes his love for Orabelle, but Blaise’s guardian, Raynor, attacks him from behind. Raynor turns to attack Orabelle, but Tal blocks the blow and sacrifices his life. While she is mourning, she sees boats circle the site where Tal’s body rested. She decides she needs to know more about the people in the boats.
J. Barrett was thorough in describing the details of each character’s physical attributes. He gave the history of every character strategically without interrupting the main plot. The brutal killing of Tal shocked me, as he could never defend himself. Orabelle holds darkness within, and I became more curious as her personality developed. I think Blaise felt genuine affection for Orabelle, but her hatred of him was blatant. There was never a dull moment, and I immersed myself in the depiction of another world. The dialogue was engaging and the connection between Orabelle and the supporting characters was effortless. Halfway through the story, I hated Chronos as much as Orabelle did. The end of the story left me eager to dive into the sequel. Fantasy, family drama, and more await. I recommend Orabelle to readers who enjoy action-filled fantasy stories.