Review: Anathema by Megg Jensen

Posted 24 March, 2012 by Pushy in Blog, Pushy, Pushy Book Review, Uncategorized / 5 Comments


Book I in the Cloud Prophet series
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publication: February 4th 2011 by CreativeSpace
free copy from Amazon
Get your own: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
synopsis from goodreads
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 Anathemawe 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!

Bewitched Rating

Bottom Line

Mysterious, fantastical and full of adventure and magic, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what comes next in book 2!

Additional Notes

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!
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Lover of words and authors; absolute fan girl of books! Give me a good story, with characters I can love (and hate) and I'll follow you anywhere. Sing me a song of worlds I can dream of, and I'll listen forever.

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5 Responses to “Review: Anathema by Megg Jensen”

  1. Kali Skittles

    I’ve read the whole series and I love it. It is one of my favourite YA series. Although it’s been a long time since I read the first one and I had to wait for the second and the third, I seriously don’t know who “Grey” is at all. I don’t remember a love triangle, or any hint of one…>___>

    I actually planned on re-reading this series soon though since I read it before I started writing reviews, and since it’s one of my favourite series I want it to have more attention!

    Reply »

    Kali Skittles 3/24/2012

    Oh wait, is he the slave boy? Maybe I remember him……..though I’m still pretty sure I never got the hint of a love triangle, since I hate them and I try my hardest not to read them.

    Reply »

    Pushy 3/24/2012

    Yes, he was the slave boy at the beginning. You can tell he likes Reychel (although she doesn’t notice it herself) and then at the end….I don’t want to give the spoiler away, but I thought it was pretty clear there was a spark there. I’ll have to see where Ms. Jensen takes it in the second book. Perhaps that’s a story line that doesn’t go anywhere…
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  2. I have had this book for about nine months to read, but haven’t gotten to it yet. Now that you’ve explained it, I’m anxious to get to it. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers rave about it. But, I couldn’t tell you who! I’ll let you know what I think when I read it.

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    Pushy 3/27/2012

    It’s a really fascinating premise. I’m looking forward to the second book!

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