Connor Roth is an arrogant boy. When he goes before the oracle to receive his Pairing for Senior Trial, he fully expects to be paired with his girlfriend and prove how amazing his talent is. But the oracle has other ideas, and instead pairs him with Landyn Glendower. While a same sex pairing has happened from time to time, never has the oracle paired two young mages with opposing elements. Connor’s power lies with fire, Landyn’s with water, and there’s no way they can work together.
Connor’s pairing causes him to fall from the top of his pedestal, and his friends abandon him. His arrogance doesn’t endear him to Landyn, and the two boys get off on the wrong foot. For days they avoid each other, until Connor realizes there’s no way he can do the trial without Landyn. As the boys get to know each other and begin practicing, they form a friendship. And Connor comes to see the person inside Landyn’s quiet, reserved shell. Just as they begin to really fall for one another, jealousy from other classmates tears them apart. As Connor wallows in self-pity, he overhears a conversation that makes him realize the truth. Landyn is the one for him, and together they can do great things. Just like the oracle said.
This was a lovely little story filled with the arrogance of youth, and a lesson well learned. With magic leading the way, two young men realize that appearances aren’t always what they seem and that working together, and asking for help, can make all the difference.
At first glance, Connor is just a smarmy, self-absorbed young man without a trace of humility. But underneath, he’s vulnerable. Being the son of a truly famous mage has taken its toll. His father is unduly harsh on him, and Connor is trying so hard not to disappoint his father that he’s lost focus. He’s popular and powerful, and he thinks that’s all there is to life and how he’s going to succeed. His friendship with Landyn changes his ideals, and I loved watching him grow over the course of the story. Connor has wonderful layers that endeared him to me.
Landyn is a loner, mostly by choice, and a quiet, unassuming boy. Connor has a lot of misconceptions about Landyn, simply because Landyn doesn’t show off his talent. I thought he was the perfect partner of Connor, showing him there’s more to life than arrogance and popularity. And Landyn didn’t take any of Connor’s crap, giving back as good as he got. I found Landyn utterly charming, and enjoyed him very much. I wanted nothing more than for these two young guys to recognize how well they worked together, and that what they were building was solid and true.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a young adult title, but this was lovely and sweet and hit all the right notes. With magic and high school politics thrown into the mix, I found myself enjoying it a lot. If you’re looking for a nice, quick read about a boy learning to become a man, then this is one you’ll want to pick up.
Cover: This cover, like the title, is absolutely perfect for the story within and I just love it for it’s simplicity.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.