To save the world she must die! Or must she?
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Willing Sacrifice Info Pages
For as long as she can remember, La'tiera has known her purpose, her destiny. As the Bearer of the Eye, she will wait until the appointed time then sacrifice herself to the demons so the lands will be safe. Yet as the time approaches, she is snatched from her home by strangers and is told it is for her protection. These strangers tell her she is not to be a sacrifice, but must fight to live in order for the world to be saved.
La'tiera will not be swayed, however, her duty clear. Despite their clever lies, she will follow through on her destiny and do what is required. Her every effort will be put to freeing herself from her kidnappers and meeting her fate as planned.
La’tiera was left alone with the two men who’d kidnapped her. She rose to her feet, feeling tense, and stood near the wall. So she was quite startled when Rostocha dropped to one knee before her and bowed. Dal followed suit.
“Bearer, please allow me introduce myself. I am Rostocha of the fifth tier of Watchers, son of Lalu and Nathan.” He lifted his head, his eyes seeking her surprised ones. “I earnestly apologize for our methods, but they were necessary. We needed to make sure we could take you safely from your prison and could privately explain ourselves to you.”
He appeared earnest, but La’tiera didn’t believe him. “I don’t care to hear your explanations. I only want you to take me back where I belong.” She tried to make her expression hard, though in truth she quivered inside.
Rostocha looked away. “I’m sorry, but that is not possible. Our world is in peril and you are the key to our salvation. It is our duty to educate you, to keep you safe, until the time comes. Then after the danger is past, if you still wish to return, we will do as you ask.”
“What lies!” La’tiera felt a flash of anger bring heat to her face. “If you honestly wanted the world to be saved, you wouldn’t be making these promises to me.”
“La’tiera, what are you talking about?” Dal asked her.
She pierced him with a hard stare. “I could hardly choose to go back home once I was dead, could I?”
This brought Dal to his feet. “Dead? Why would you be dead?”
“Because it is required!”
Rostocha followed suit, a look of comprehension dawning on his face. “You believe you have to be a sacrifice.”
Dal spun to stare first at him then at her. “What? That’s insane!”
His utter shock at the fact confused her.
“You were expecting to die? You were going to allow yourself to be killed?”
She possessed no idea what to make of the horrified expression on his face. “Of course. I will do what is necessary, what I was chosen to do.”
“The Eye is not a mark of Death!”
For nineteen years, La'tiera has been groomed for one purpose: to die at the appointed time to save the world. Her life has been carefully sheltered in the royal house by the viscount, whom she calls uncle. As the day of sacrifice draws near, La'tiera's cloistered life is shattered when she discovers the tiny face of a little girl named Aya hiding in her secret garden. When Aya and her friends, traveling entertainers, kidnap her, everything La'tiera has come to know and trust begins to unravel.
This is the dilemma Gloria Oliver creates in her book, Willing Sacrifice. It is an interesting read for those interested in the fantasy that Oliver presents. However, action and adventure are limited because the emphasis is on characters and themes. It is more a novel of manners set in another world with different morals and ethics and a cast of colorful and memorable characters.
I found the book had a depth beyond the simple telling of a good story. It is a well-written exploration of religious belief, self-discovery, and love. The book presents a simple rendering of the power of doubt and hope, revealed through narrative and symbolism, whether intentional or not. It is an allegory.
For example, what the reader sees of La'tiera at the beginning of the story could be painted in drab tones, with dark interiors and dark scowls. When Aya comes into her garden, almost like the snake in Eden, offering knowledge, the world takes on light and color. Aya brings life and joy and the concept of fun as she plays the games of childhood La'tiera has never known and offers her a world she has never seen.
I haven't read a novel in a great while that offered so much literary fodder in such a simple story. If I were an English literature teacher, I'd want to put Willing Sacrifice on my list of books to read and analyze in detail. It is destined to have lasting value.
Rating: 4 Stars
La'tiera lives in a unique world, where she knows that one day she must sacrifice herself for mankind to survive. She lives locked away in a castle, where she's protected from strangers.
However, one little girl from a traveling troupe of entertainers discovers a way inside the fortress. She meets La'tiera and tells her troupe all about her. Could she be the one they have been searching for? Without hesitation, other members of the group believe that she's the girl who will save the world.
The group kidnaps La'tiera for her own safety. They speak of anther solution besides sacrifice, where La'tiera must live in order to save mankind, rather than die. As much as La'tiera grows to love her friend and admire the people around her, she knows what she must do.
Who is telling her the truth -- and can she figure out her destiny before it's too late?
WILLING SACRIFICE is a unique tale that fantasy readers will certainly enjoy.
Willing Sacrifice is one of the best fantasies I've ever read. Filled with adventure, danger, and delightful charactersâ€”as well as a touch of romanceâ€”this novel will keep you reading long into the night. I literally had to force myself to put the book down so I could get some sleep.
Rarely have I ever read such a well-drawn character as La'tiera. You'll be able to feel her anguish and confusion as she tries to sort out the truth of her destiny. Often, such a character can be irritating, but Ms. Oliver handles it so well that your nerves will only be on edge because you're wondering what La'tiera will choose to do.
Willing Sacrifice will snare you from page one with its unusual plot and the promise of peril to come, and it just keeps getting better and better. I look forward to reading more of this author's work.
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