Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publication: February 4th 2011 by CreativeSpace
free copy from Amazon
Forget prophecy. Make your own destiny.Sheltered from the outside world with no hope for escape, slave girl Reychel dreads her fifteenth birthday – when her master’s symbol is burned on the back of her bald scalp. Her best friend disappears the night before, leaving her to face the branding ceremony alone. She soon discovers nothing is as it seems when people desperate for freedom beg for Reychel’s help.Can Reychel learn to believe in herself?
One look at the cover of this book and I knew I needed to read it. And I’m so very happy I did!
Welcome to the world of Anathema
The world Anathemais set in is way different than what I’ve been reading lately. It has all the grandure and inequity of fuedal Europe with enough fantasy to make it clear that this is no era experienced on our world. And I knew from the first page I was going to love it!Ms. Jensen really draws the reader in, as the setting of this story is very well described. From the nitty-gritty of where the slaves sleep and work to the opulenant dress of those whom they serve, the details in this book paint an incredibly vivid picture, definitely making the reader feel apart of the story.
The Haves and the Have-Nots…
While setting is important, let’s face it: the characters are a critical part of the equation and in Anathema
we have some great characters:
Reychel – The slave girl that has something about her, something special.
When we meet Reychel, she’s just lost her best friend in the world, the slave she’s spent all her days with in the castle of the Malborn lord they both serve. Lost and alone, she’s summoned to the lord’s private rooms where she weaves stories so vivid they frighten the most powerful man in the land. As the story continues, we learn that Reychel has more power in her than she’s ever suspected and a destiny that refuses to be denied. I loved her sweetness. I love her humilty. And I love her ability to give of herself. Reychel’s the kind of girl everyone wants to have as a friend and she’s the kind of heroine that will leave you rooting for her to the end.
Kandek – The Malborn overlord.
I wanted to hate him from the start. I mean he lives off slaves for goodness sake! But there’s something around the edges of this character that drew me in, had me wondering about him. I may not ever love him and his oppressive ways, but I definitely would like to learn more about Kandek.
Grey and Mark – Two love interests for the price of one!
Both gorgeous and sweet and devoted to Reychel, but with vastly different personalities, both guys are definitely crush worth! And even though this story really isn’t about the romance, I’ll admit, I enjoyed the parts that were!
Ivy and Ella – Two close friends…
Well, really only one of them is Reychel’s friend. The other is…kind of a bitch on wheels, but both help move the story along in just the right ways, and when you find out which of them has betrayed Reychel…well, let’s just say I both loved and hated her!!
And then there’s the magic…
For me, the fantasy element was by far the best part of this book. Ms. Jensen’s world is filled with gifted people, both prized and enslaved for their abilities. People who can make you see things that aren’t there, people who can charm you into near, narcotic compliance, people who can see into the future and perhaps one who is destined to save the Serenians from the Malborns who have enslaved them for generations? Color me intrigued!
All good things must come to an end.
While I loved almost everything else about this story, I admit that the ending felt rushed. I almost felt as if Ms. Jensen had too many strings to tie up and didn’t want to make the book too long, so she just wrapped them all up together in a big bow that was just ever so slightly too neat to be believable. However, there was still enough left waiting in the plot to be explored that I will definitely be reading the next book, Oubliette, very soon!
Mysterious, fantastical and full of adventure and magic, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what comes next in book 2!
I’m curious if anyone else has read this book? I know some of my bloggy friends have (I first learned about Anathema
on Books with Bite
. So tell me, have you read it? Did you like it too? If not, does it sound like something you’d be intersted in? Leave a comment and let me know!
Now go and get lost…in a book!