Book Review: Starling, by Lesley Livingston

starling_coverI’ve never been to New York, but in the novel Starling, author Lesley Livingston made me feel as if I was there during the cold, wet winter of the 2000s. It was at this time and place that an academy was attacked by strange creatures called draugr that two unsuspecting teens meet and are found to be drawn by each other’s embrace. The conflict of man against self is played out in how one young girl battles between her lovers and her fate.

This fantasy is told in the third person by 16 year old fencer Mason Starling, The Fenrys Wolf, a stunningly good looking 19 year old, Mason’s mentor and companion fencer Calum Aristarchos who is also in love with Mason, and Mason’s older brother, Rory Starling, who all go through a maze of love and loyalty. The two main characters Mason Starling and The Fenrys Wolf exemplify the author’s theme of love and loyalty; their actions gave suspense and kept my eyes glued to the pages as I traveled with them through the novel.

Fenrys is one of the reasons I loved this book. Though, he is not just a regular 19 year old and he tells the reader all about it. Fenrys has completely lost his memory, but discovers that he may be the one to determine the beginning of Ragnarok. The perilous adventure of Fenrys and his true love is just one of the reasons I wanted to keep reading the book that kept my eyes fixed upon its pages.

Mason Starling is another character that I appreciate in the novel. Her words are contradictory, self-explanatory, compelling, but at the same time annoying as I tired over this character. Her brave, but egotistic, demeanor and actions demonstrate that she greatly yearns to be the best person she can be as she fights over her feelings and love for Fenrys. Mason made me want to fall down and cry as she rejects the one who had loved her most dearly.

If you want to know how Mason and Fenrys face their fate, love, past, or how Calum Aristarchos copes with his unrequited love in Starling, you’ll just have to read the book!

-Christina B., 7th grade

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