Publisher: E.S. Tilton
Publishing Date: March 2016
Publishers Description: Sarenka awakens chained to a dead man, and the price of freedom is higher than she wants to pay. Forced to eat from dog dishes, she fights to survive against pirates, city guards, assassins, and thieves with only her illusions to hide her.
Review: This got a big DNF rating when I read the first chapter. Then it sat on my Kindle for awhile just staring at me and when I ran out of books to read and needed to start the review process, I picked it up again. Glad I did as this once insipid and weirdly cloaked beginning starts to make sense as you move through the story line. Very clever writing, almost too clever.
The characters are engaging from Sarenka’s hard worn demeanor and gutter scrabbling survival to D’trav and Parian, two men on quests of their own for different reasons. The really interesting portion of the story line were the different, and I can only assume, genetically altered humans that over time have somehow become distinct species. Shape shifters, telepathic felines, assassins and mind manipulators/illusionists are just a few of the odd presences that abound in this novel.
“So why you no give 5 stars!?”. There were some spelling and grammar errors throughout and some scene fails where Sarenka (for example) has gold hoops as payment for selling two dogs, then later, she only has a few coppers when robbed and beaten by street urchins. Where did the gold go? Which brings up another point. She is a trained knife fighter (supposedly) yet gets the crap kicked out of her by street toughs while armed. The perfidy continues as she kills a Baron and almost kills a trained soldier and is always ready to enact her deadly arts but constantly gets pummeled. So…which is it? Trained adept killer or hapless street urchin begging for scraps and stealing sausages?? Well lets just say this was a very contradictory character. Another minor fall down is her constant efforts to leave the city, hence “Trapped“. So just leave. Is the city surrounded by 100 foot walls? The city fronts the sea with plenty of boats and at one point she has full access to one but decides to stay.
This was one long-ass novel yet I am glad of it because it was an enjoyable read. Great character development and world building. I loved Burmtin in all its seedy glory and the myriad species that reside there. Plenty of sex and violence to color the slide into hectic oblivion. Get…..it……now!