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eARC Review: Compass Points by Jillian Witt


Release date: 7 November 2023

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: A magical weapons master just might be the key to saving the continent from a deadly plague; if only she didn’t have to romantically entangle herself with a dangerous fae leader to do it.

Rose has kept her head down and life private for the last ten years, making weapons in the remote northern village and staying away from the world of the Compass Points. Running from her past seemed like the easiest way to deal with her pain. When a representative of the Suden Point, the leader of the earth fae, comes looking for a magical weapons master, her secrets may start to unravel.

Deadly and determined, Luc needs Rose’s skills to help fight a mist plague overtaking the continent. When the plague hits too close to home, Rose must decide her fate. Continue to run from her past? Or go to the one place she swore never to return, Compass Lake.


A romantic fantasy in a world inspired by United States National Parks. Fans of Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries will love this enchanting new fantasy series with enemies to lovers, fake dating, and elemental magic.

 

Review


If you’re looking for a fast-paced fantasy romance with elemental magic and enemies-to-lovers (kinda) with fake-dating romance, Compass Points could be a great pick for you. Jillian Witt shows a promising start as a storyweaver in this series starter set mostly in a place that feels like Crater Lake in Oregon. I really enjoyed this debut and highly recommend it for bookish folk who love hygge-style cozy atmospheres coupled with intrigue, danger, and swoony slow-burn tension.


Rose can make weapons imbued with magical properties. When a nosy fae comes poking about looking for her expertise, she tries to refuse but winds up getting pulled into his drama anyway, and cursing the village she’s made her home in the process. Now the two are stuck with each other, and in order for Rose to fix the plague and save her home, she must team up with the dreamy Luc and travel back to the home she tried to get away from in the first place—along with the people who drove her from there.


Witt really hooked me with the romantic tension in this one. Though Rose and Luc arrive at Crater, I mean Compass, Lake under the guise of a romantic connection, it’s not long until their ruse becomes real. Though enemies-to-lovers is a bit of a loose term, it’s a better categorization than rivals-to-lovers. The two do not start off in a friendly manner, which I always enjoy in a romance. Rose and Luc deliver when they try to resist their attraction and finally give in.


A great, immersive setting in a fantasy always complements a well-paced plot and great romantic tension, and I loved the settings in Compass Points. I may be wrong, but I believe, as I mentioned at the start of my review, that the main setting resembles Crater Lake National Park. I’ve never been there and really want to, and this book was so great for the arm-chair traveler. Toss in lots of forest surroundings, a castle, and a cozy, HUGE library with a fireplace, and I couldn’t be peeled from this book.


I could really go on and on with the all of the things I loved. I only minded that the book was short, under 300 pages, and with a world this complex and a plot this complicated, I really think it could have been a bit longer with some more fleshing out of the origins and backstory of the universe. Some bookish folk really don’t mind and prefer a quick read, so that’s really preference and not indicative of a general story fault.


My sincere thanks to the author for the eARC, for which I willingly give my own, honest review.


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