J. L. Platt
Outskirts Press (2018)
ISBN 9781478796671
Reviewed by Valicia France for Reader Views (2/19)

“Flair” by J.L. Platt tells a story of a family that had tried to keep the existence of their daughters, Kelly and Leandra Deluvia, a secret for many years. The book focuses primarily on those daughters as they are taken from a life of total seclusion and thrown into war to rescue their fathers.

Kelly, who is of greater focus in the book than Leandra in my opinion, is known as a Flair which (without giving away too much) means that she has important magical powers that make her a somewhat desirable asset in the war. But she has to learn a lot about what this means throughout her journey. 

The storyline was very interesting. The fantasy world was well thought out – from the war, the culture, the countries – everything seemed to tie together seamlessly. I was initially against how easily murders were processed in that world, but once I reflected on the culture and the long-standing war, things made a lot more sense. I enjoyed the development of all the characters, with Leandra being my favorite. She was blunt, talkative, and impulsive, but someone you wanted on your side. Despite having no superpowers, she was a strong, confident, and skilled warrior. Her determination and loyalty made her a force to be reckoned with.

On their journey to rescue their fathers, Kelly and Leandra had their shares of ups and downs. They ended up having more heartache before their journey was over - one of their losses was so abrupt that I mourned with them all through the book. But they seemed to develop some important relationships as well. By the end of the book, Kelly and Leandra ended up learning a lot more about themselves and their past than they expected to.

There were some things in the book that did not come across as authentic, mainly timing issues. Certain parts seemed too rushed, like Kelly’s attempt to look for the Healer as advised by her Guide. It just did not seem like the pattern of events could happen in the timeframe with the outcome as described. In another instance, one character’s realization about the treachery of one of her teammates was too abrupt, jarring me out of the story. I also felt that the deaths of a few characters were too sudden, but it may have mainly been that I had gotten a bit too connected to those individuals. In addition, the book cover was attractive, but upon first glance, I would not have guessed that it was fantasy.

Overall, I highly recommend “Flair” for young adults and up that love reading fantasy that is written with a flair.