Avery by Charlotte McConaghy

Genre Fantasy Published 1 July 2013  Publisher Random House Australia Series The Chronicles of Kaya book one

averyThe people of Kaya die in pairs. When one lover dies, the other does too. So it has been for thousands of years – until Ava.

For although her bondmate, Avery, has been murdered and Ava’s soul has been torn in two, she is the only one who has ever been strong enough to cling to life. Vowing revenge upon the barbarian queen of Pirenti, Ava’s plan is interrupted when she is instead captured by the deadly prince of her enemies.

Prince Ambrose has been brought up to kill and hate. But when he takes charge of a strangely captivating Kayan prisoner and is forced to survive with her on a dangerous island, he must reconsider all he holds true.

In a violent country like Pirenti, where emotion is scorned as a weakness, can he find the strength to fight for the person he loves . . . even when she’s his vengeful enemy?

The Urban Book Thief Review

urban book thief

Oh my lordy! That was the craziest ride I’ve been on for a while – I’m exhausted. Someone fetch me my Valium and a tumbler of gin! This world is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Not only is it full of bad-assery, but it’s also heartbreakingly sad and full of eloquent expressions of love, suffering and the human condition.

“I loved you when you were a man, and I love you as a woman. I see you as you are, Ave – broken into pieces and suffocating – and I love all the pieces of you, no matter how small they’ve shattered, nor how far they’ve been scattered.”

How’s that for a bit of light entertainment on a Sunday afternoon. Sheesh! From this quote you may have noticed that Ambrose (our hero) had some confusing times to deal with about his sexuality. It was that old chestnut – a plot device featuring a strikingly beautiful woman, a handful of hair pins, some strategically placed bandages, introducing herself to her enemies as a he and then falling head over heels in love with the enemy’s son. Oopsie.



Ava is Kayan, from the south of the country, where it’s warm and lush and women are given free birth to be as kick-ass as they want. Kayan’s hold a special kind of magic and spend their lives looking for their bond mate, their one true love. Ava is lucky because she meets Avery at a young age and they fall head over heels for one another. Tragedy strikes though when they enter the kingdom of their enemy, the Pirenti, to kill the barbarian Queen who has been raging war with them for years: Avery is caught and killed before her very eyes.

This should have meant instant death for Ava with their mate bond in place. But strangely, she lives on as a broken shell of her former self and plans revenge on the Queen and her villainous offspring.

Maybe if she had caught a glimpse of the studly Princes before plotting her revenge she would have changed her mind. There’s no shame in it, I definitely would have changed mine.



Prince Ambrose is the second son of the Queen. He’s a son of  Pirenti, the cold country in the north where bloodshed and murder go hand in hand on a daily basis. To show any signs of humility or softness would mean your death. Ambrose is violent, introspective and braw with a sweet soft marshmellowy thingy going on around his major organs.

The violence of his life and his people are gradually wearing Ambrose down and he craves to live a life of his own, to be true to himself and those that he loves – his older brother Thorne and his brother’s wife Roselyn. So when his men capture Ava (or Avery as she calls herself for the first half of the book) and her assassination attempt on the Queen fails, Ambrose argues for a prison sentence rather than an execution, and as punishment he is made to transport her to their island prison himself.

Nice going evil Queenie.

The book is a non-stop adventure of thrills and spills. It will make you laugh over misunderstandings, cry over atrocities and cheer for victims to change their fate. This fantasy world is frickin’ awesome and the things this author subjects her characters to is very brave. No one gets away unscathed. No siree.

“When you first looked at Avery, you bonded with him. It was easy and simple, and it was beyond any choice you could make. But when you and I first met, we hated each other. It was slow and it was impossible, and it happened against both of our wills, despite everything that was put in its way. It was like we clawed at love with every ounce of our strength, like we held our breaths for it until no air existed in the world.”

Darn. They might bring them up all cold and haughty-like, but god are they eleoquent.

Now for the downer – this book is told from four different points of view!!!! For me, this story would have been a straight five stars. No questions asked. But four points of view? There were times when I wanted to bang my head against the wall in frustration. It was just too much for me and stopped this from being truly awesome to just awesome.

fourThe Urban Book Thief has awarded Avery a kiss factor rating of four – hurrah!



2 thoughts on “Avery by Charlotte McConaghy

  1. Wow that first quote threw me, and this did sound COMPLETELY awesome until you unveiled the 4 points of view nugget. Still, I am VERY tempted! (Hate the cover though, so maybe I’ll be getting the Kindle version rather than the paperback – hope it’s available in the UK store.)

    • I agree about the cover – but this is a format that the publisher has taken with a lot of their books recently, so i’m trying not to let it impact what i think about the author! The 4 view points was weird and unnecessary in my opinion. Weird.

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