Review of Land of Falling Stars by Keta Diablo

You can see yesterday’s post for the blurb for this book.


land-of-falling-stars-clearLand of Falling Stars is a fascinating historical about two childhood friends finding love amid heartbreak and danger.  In this story, childhood friends Jesse and Sophia have been promised to each other in marriage since birth, but the outbreak of the American Civil War has separated them from each other as well as from their best friend Gavin, who chose to fight for the North while Jesse fought for the South.  Gavin soon returns with secrets that could and do deeply affect his and Sophia’s relationship once revealed. 


I was initially drawn to this story because of its setting and time period…the south during the American Civil War.  You don’t see too many romances set during that time period any more, but it is such a volatile and fascinating time period that I would enjoy seeing more books set during this time.  While set during the war, what I enjoyed about this story is that it didn’t get weighed down with events or historical facts as so many historicals set during this time period do.  The focus was on the relationship and how the war affects it rather than on the war.


And what a relationship it is!  Sophia and Gavin share a passionate relationship filled with many ups-and-downs and emotions.  Love, lust, anger, hurt, fear…you name it, they experience it in this story.  The two clash quite a few times and definitely have a chemistry which leads to some passionate moments.  But they have a lot to deal with throughout the story and the various obstacles the couple face strengthen both the story and their relationship.


I especially felt for Gavin, a fascinating character who the war has affected a great deal.  He is haunted by events and his secret as he struggles with the dilemma of whether to tell Sophia or not.  His silence and the secret deeply affect his relationship with Sophia as do events throughout the story.  The couple’s happy reunion definitely takes a turn as Sophia learns the truth and I really felt for both of them and their grief, but especially for Gavin.  He carries a heavy burden and it is not made easier by other trials the couple have to face and his growing lust for Sophia.  Gavin has always loved Sophia and his love and desire are evident throughout the story, however, he does make a few decisions regarding Sophia and their relationship that I didn’t quite agree with or understand.


As for Sophia, she has also lost quite a bit thanks to the war, but she is a strong individual who has learned to survive and adapt.  Sophia faces both external and internal struggles as she deals with tragic events and her feelings for Gavin and Jesse and they affect how she treats Gavin. Her obstinacy and treatment of Gavin did bother me a few times as she seemed to play hot and cold with him while she struggled with her feelings toward him. While she awaited Jesse’s return, she never thought to see Gavin again.  His return stirs up quite a few feelings in her as well as bringing more trouble for the pair as someone is not happy to see him return. 


As Sophia learns the truth behind Gavin’s return, an evil neighbor’s actions wreak more havoc for the couple injuring Sophia and causing the couple to embark on a long and dangerous journey North.  Along the way they have to deal with not only each other and what has happened, but threats from those that would do them harm.


The story and Sophia and Gavin’s journey take an unexpected and interesting turn when they meet a band of gypsies who I found fascinating.  They make an intriguing addition to the story and I actually would have loved to have seen more of them. 


In addition to the gypsies there are other fascinating secondary characters in the story from Sophia’s devoted servants to her loyal dog, Ricochet.  In fact, Ricochet is a hero in his own right and I loved this animal.


However, while I enjoyed the characters and the story there are a few times where the story seems to jump forward in time and I wish the author showed us what was happening with both Sophia and Gavin rather than briefly telling us about what happened during these time periods.  I believe it could have made the story even stronger. And I definitely would have loved to have known a bit more at the end as I am curious about what is going to happen with Gavin and Sophia.


Despite this, I found Land of Falling Stars to be an interesting read filled with heartache and passion.  I really enjoyed the volatile relationship between these two strong-headed individuals who face a great deal on their way to a happy ending.


You can purchase this book in both ebook and AUDIO format here.


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