Reading Level: Adult
Size: 288 pages
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Amazon Vine for Review
Rating: 3/5 stars
I got this book from the Amazon Vine program to review. The synopsis really grabbed me, I love dark historical fantasy. However, this book ended up being a bit of disappointment for me…it is just a bit too slow, sad, and dark.
This story is told from three point of views. The first is Hammel a young nobleman who is going to the North Country for some peace and quiet. While there he runs into Damek and his crazy wife. When Hammel returns to his rental house the maid there, Anna, proceeds to tell him the sad story of Damek, Lina, and young Lina. This is basically a tale of witchcraft, persecution, and of how horrible men can ruin a young girl’s spirit.
Most of the book is told from Anna’s point of view. There is a middle section that is the copy of a journal of Lina’s, so we do get to hear from her some. Then there is an epilogue that is form Hammel’s POV again.
This is a very sad and dark story. There is a lot of violence towards women and a rape scene. Mostly this story explores the powerless position of women in a male-run society. Since Lina is assumed to be a witch because of her violet eyes…there is a very witch hunt type vibe to the story as well.
Lina suffers persecution for her violet eyes from birth. Yet she is showered with gifts and love from her father. It drives Lina to becoming a somewhat troubled youth, she is treasured and hated, spoiled and spurned. As Lina grows her life is destroyed and she in turn destroys the lives of those around her.
A lot of the darkness is driven by Damek. He is a dark young man who gets to know Lina when he is fostered by her fathers. Damek is absolutely entranced by Lina. He pretty much worships her and is driven to do terrible things to secure her love.
The story is very deliberate and unfolds slowly. The main driver is the mystery behind how Damek and young Lina ended up how they did. The whole thing is pretty twisted.
This is not an exciting story. Still I found it strangely engaging. It’s like watching a car wreck…things just get worse and worse for the characters with no relief in sight. You don’t want to read what happens but you just can’t look away.
So…yeah. I would definitely say this is an adult read or at least older young adult. It is a very depressing read and parts of the book are really slow.
I did find some aspects of the world interesting. One concept that drove a lot of the darkness and despair in town was the concept of vendetta. The whole vendetta law was very interesting, but I had a hard time believing that the general populace would actually accept this type of law. I also thought that the idea of wizards being the arbitrators of laws and lore was interesting too.
Overall a somewhat disappointing read but not without some good aspects. This is a very dark and depressing story with characters that are unlikable and a world that is a bit unbelievable in its violence. However, some concepts were interesting like vendetta and the idea of wizards enforcing the law of Lore. The whole story is deliberate, a bit boring at parts, but also somewhat entrancing in its darkness. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this unless you are a huge fan of dark historical fantasy.