The Strangest Woman

I have reviewed The Strangest Woman – The Past and Passed By by Lydia R. Outland for Reader’s Favorite.

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The Strangest Woman – The Past and Passed By by Lydia R. Outland is a fiction novel in fantasy subgenre. The protagonist, Kyana, avoided humans like plague. Hiding in the deepest forests, she hunted animals for food and reminisced the old times. One fateful day, unknowingly, she saved the life of the king of Neira kingdom. It was during this fight that she got a deep gash on the side of her stomach. The grateful king, Damian Lystad, took her to Castle Lyist to cure her wound. The moment she gained consciousness, she wanted to leave the castle and go back to the safety of deep forests. This, however, was not meant to be. Days went by and she made connections with the knights, handmaids, and the king himself. Eventually, they became an important part of her life. Nevertheless, she could not stay here forever. So, as soon as she regained her strength, she left the castle. Destiny intervened once again, when Kyana saw an infamous “Faithful” leading an attack on Castle Lyist. Despite her logical brain begging her to stay out of it, she surrendered to her heart and paid a heavy price for that.

“That’s why you risked your life? That’s why you got stabbed? That’s why you nearly bleed to death on the back of my horse… Because the fight was not fair?”

Kyana shrugged. “Every battle deserves a chance. Everybody deserves a fighting chance…” No one deserves to be caught off guard… slaughtered in their sleep or snuck up on by cowards… “besides I was the only one around.”

– The Strangest Woman – The Past and Passed By by Lydia R. Outland

The Strangest Woman – The Past and Passed By begins with a king comforting his young prince in the midst of a heavy storm. He recollects the past when dragons enveloped the grounds and the skies. Magic resided in these dragons. Many people devoted their lives to caring for these dragons. These were curious people, interested in magic and devoted to a particular dragon or a specific family of dragons. They were called Faithfuls. What followed was a horrifying tale of fear and slaughter. Faithful is not the only concept that Lydia R. Outland, the author, has introduced. In fact, the gripping terminologies spanned from faithful, hirelings to fictional historical events like the First War and the First Peace. This is a clever trick of building the authenticity of the plot. Instead of bombarding names, events, and terms, Lydia R. Outland planted the seed of curiosity in the hearts of the readers slowly by mentioning one significant information at a time. This way, the audience not only comprehended the plot better, but also remembered the backstory in a much better way.

“After this execution, known now as The Sacrifice, the kingdoms set out to rid the world of these dangerous beasts. Eight more dragon egg swords were made and given to the most skilled and trusted knights among the kingdoms. These knights were dubbed Liberators and were burdened with a singular mission. They, along with their armies, scoured the forests, mountains, lakes, and valleys until they slayed every dragon. We, humans, pulled these creatures from the stone… and it was time we put them back. We cut out the monsters from this world, and we freed the Faithfuls of their poisonous influences. It too came with a price.

– The Strangest Woman – The Past and Passed By by Lydia R. Outland

The author has bestowed the same level of sincerity in creating believable side characters as the protagonist. In fact, dare I say, some of the side characters, like Ira, were unforgettable. The curiosity to discover the secret of Kyana compelled the readers to keep the pages turning. And even after the secret was revealed, the hunger to find out the consequences it would have on Kyana was insatiable. With a hint of romance, a gripping storyline, and an edge-of-the-seat action, The Strangest Woman – The Past and Passed By by Lydia R. Outland has all the right ingredients to be a bestseller.

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