" Just as the colours are deeper, the smells sharper, and the sun brighter in Hawaii, the stories of its people carry richness beyond imagination. - Katherine Kayne ”
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Today I am taking a new approach to reviews and doing a book review for the first time on my blog. The first book that I am reviewing is Bound In Flame by Katherine Kayne.
Every holiday season I have the pleasure of having extra time on my hands so I am able to indulge in my favourite hobbies and activities. One of these hobbies is reading.
I am sharing some of the main themes of book that really made this story unique and separate itself from any other. I truly love reading about strong female characters and their adventures into self discovery and advancement. I also gravitate towards novels that have romance and history storylines. Bound in Flame, touches on these elements and much more.
I am hoping to intrigue you when sharing the main elements and themes of the novel, so that you are interested enough to want to take a read for yourself.
Kayne offers the first novel of a series called The Hawaiian Ladies’ Riding Society Series. Bound In Flame is set in 1909 Hawaii, where the history is rich and there is an intense connection to elements of the supernatural and a story encompassing young romance. The novel explores the life of 19 year old, Letty Lang, a fierce and motivated young women who loves horses and is connected to super natural powers of Hawaii. Letty has a great love for helping animals and when she is sent to San Francisco for boarding school, learns many aspects of medicine to help animals. Her dream is to become the first female veterinarian and she soon aspires to do all that she can to achieve this profession. She has to face the objection from society, her family and other characters in the novel who see women as inferior to men. Letty strives to break barriers and become an independent career women in a time when these opportunities were reserved for men.
Supernatural Elements, Magic & Romance:
The second and third themes of the story are the supernatural elements and winding romance. Both of these themes come to light, when Letty goes to visit her godmother, Princess Kahōkūlani. Here, she learns of her connection with her supernatural gifts and meets Timothy Rowley her love interest. At first, like many love stories, the two characters do not take a liking to each other but slowly come together. They both have a love for horses and this is what ultimately brings them together.
Timothy, at first is bothered of Letty’s presence when she is asked by her godmother to assist in helping Timothy break two colts. Timothy objects to her help and displays a clear representation of patriarchal thoughts. He does not enjoy the fact that Letty is a women who is involved with his work. He does not think highly of Letty's aspiration to work with animals and complains that she is annoying, bossy, ultimately unwanted. Although, he is taken by her appearance and is attracted to her body. Thus begins, the tension and soon their romance.
Letty’s connection to the supernatural world and her romance with Timothy go hand and hand because ultimately when they begin to start their relationship Timothy is the one who learns how to control her magic.
Letty's "power" or "flame" is much too powerful for them to start a physical relationship, therefore Timothy starts an expedition to learn of a solution for this misfortune.
Through this exploration, we learn that Letty’s powers can assist her to heal and help those in need but it can also destroy others as well. She finds out that her Godmother had similar powers. We learn that there is a connection to Native Hawaii that gives Letty these powers.
As for the crucial question you are all waiting for .... does Timothy find the solution so they can be together ? .....
I cant spoil that part, you have to read the book and find out for yourself.
History of Hawaii:
The last theme of the book is the history of Hawaii that is scattered through out the story. There was a discussion of the division of different types of Hawaiians like those who are native, those who are half native and half white and those who are white.
The traditional language and wording was often used in the book. I found this to bring more legitimacy towards the ultimate goal of incorporating Hawaiian culture and history into the story. Without the traditional language and connection to Native Hawaiians, I don't think the book would have the same affect and overall authenticity.
I found the portions of patriarchy and feminism in the book to be factors in which I liked focusing. I like analyzing the division and connection of people based on social factors. I found Letty’s character to be inspiring for young women. I felt personally connected to her aspirations of wanting to be someone of importance and obtain a prestigious career while helping animals.
Overall, Kayne offers so many fantastic themes and story lines in the novel. I am really excited to see what happens in the next book of the series. I hope I gave you enough detail and insight to this unforgettable journey through Hawaii. I also hope that you are intrigued and motivated enough to check the novel out for yourselves.
If you are interested in purchasing the book I have linked a couple of places in which you are able to purchase.
As always, I thank you for reading.
A special thank you to the author Katherine Kayne and her publishing house Smith Publications who sent me the book and gave me the opportunity to connect with such a powerful and determined female character and to learn about the supernatural world of Hawaii and the Islands.
(The last picture was provided by the Smith Publishing house)
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