Review: Candlewax by C. Bailey Sims

All her life Catherine had hoped to see a fairrier cat. No book, no scroll provided to her by her tutors had ever mentioned this legend, much to her frustration, and now-at the worse possible time-she was getting her wish. Only, in her wish the cat wasn't about to kill her. 

A 732-year-old fairrier cat the size of a horse has killed his fair share of hunters. Driven to the brink of extinction for the supernatural powers of his coat, is he indeed the last of his kind? 

Sheltered, 16-year-old Catherine is about to find out. Unwitting heir to the Ancient Onyxes, she flees an arranged marriage only to stumble upon the cat's secrets, the force of the ancient relic she wears, and the dangerous mission they must undertake. 

Hidden under a desert that was once a fertile land, millions of predators are waiting to feast again. Catherine must discover the secret of the Ancient Onyxes and stop the creatures known as trodliks before they consume everything in their path. A whispered prophecy becomes her only guide and a rejected suitor just might be the one warrior she desperately needs.

Wow, this book is addicting! I didn't absolutely love it but still I read it in one sitting after getting into the bath at 7pm and not getting out until gone midnight! I didn't think it was going to be like that, after struggling for the first 25 or so pages of the book, but after that I was so into it that i didn't even realise the water getting cold.

So it starts off okay, Catherine is a princess running away from an arranged marriage and ends up finding out that she has to fulfill an ancient prophecy that nobody bothered to tell her about but from there it just gets better. I liked watching as Catherine gathered more and more allies, from Pokos the farrier cat, a rare species that are essential in protecting the land to Bessie, a villager girl who soon becomes her more trusted friend. My favorite character was surely Cyril who is the other half of the arranged marriage that Catherine is running away from, I loved watching their romance form. My only issue was that the name Cyril just makes me think of someone I know, a bald old mad... so yeah, I spent about 50 pages trying not to envision him like that until Sims gives us his description.

I liked that the romance didn't completely overtake the storyline, it's given straight to us and is a very simple relationship but one that we only see glimpses of, and those glimpses were the highlight of the book, alongside the action and adventure.

I thought that the writing seemed a little awkward at times and I don't know if it was just my kindle but the character's thought weren't given quotation marks or italicised so it felt at times as though we were skipping between first and third person. I also felt as though even though I was invested in the story and gripped, I knew what was going to happen, I knew none of the characters were going to die, I knew when certain people were going to show up so I wasn't absolutely gripped by it.

Overall, a fun high fantasy that I would recommend to middle grade readers. The characters and storyline were fun and interesting but the writing wasn't gripping or shocking so not that much for people looking for a really gripping, suspenseful read.

Overall Rating: B

Book released 3rd April 2012 by
Book received as an eBook from NetGalley.

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