About this book:

 Title: Incandescence (Shadowlight #1)

Author: Elena Leman
Genre: Metaphysical fantasy, Romance
Publication date: November 9, 2020
Ebook: 348 pages


Orobella is a cosmic wanderer, living borrowed lives in borrowed bodies. Her mission on planet Instaar is the same as always—collecting Crystals of Emotions while having as much fun as her new physical form allows, no strings attached. But once she meets the hypnotically mysterious Sambor, both her body and soul yearn for more. She makes him an offer he can't refuse.

In the world where creatures of death and darkness drive men mad, emotional detachment has been Sambor's greatest life achievement. As the future leader of the Lasota tribe and a spiritual tattoo artist, he can't afford the luxury of mental weakness. Yet his meticulously constructed equilibrium is shaken up when an alluring nymph promises to save his baby sister, in exchange for a sacred Lasota tattoo. He can't say no. Even if that means his demons will get the best of him. 

Steeped in mysticism, elemental magic, and sensual vibrations, this romantic fantasy is more than a love story. It’s a journey through a soul.

Rating ⭐⭐

New to me author Elena Leman has captivated my attention with this vibrant story that perfectly combines folklore, magic, curses and self-discovery. Incandescence is a fascinating fusion between metaphysical fantasy, sci-fi and romance. I have read nothing like this before, and it was quite delightful.

The storyline is imaginative and the world-building is great, with vivid descriptions of landscapes that create an idyllic atmosphere. The setting is fascinating, and the gradual revelation of other details, such as certain histories, is staged at the right time so it doesn't become overwhelming.

Orobella and Sambor as a couple worked really well. Her light complements his darkness, and the moment they get together they're souls (crystals) ignite. As a cosmic wanderer and superior being, Orobella can't stay on one planet too long, the moment she accomplishes her mission she must abandon her host and return to the Cosmos, but here is something about Sambor that makes her want to stay, a yearning to connect with him on a deeper level and that only complicates things. And Sambor, as much as he tries to find excuses to stay away from Orobella, he can't seem to let go of the need to protect and love her. She helps him battle his demons and brings out the good in him.

The story is told in dual POV, which I always enjoy, and the action is fairly paced, leaving room for character development. The protagonists were amazing, their growth throughout the book was beautifully presented, and the romantic aspect of their relationship melted my heart. There were one or two moments that were predictable and I would have liked more insight into Orobella's mission, but overall there was enough mystery and intrigue to keep me engaged. It's fair to say I enjoyed this book a lot, it was a splendid start for the series.

*ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.