||May 23, 2011
Which is worse...the monster without or within?
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The Price of Mercy
Wooing a new patron at the emperor's ball had been Jarrin Lestrave's only hope after being discarded by the baroness. He finds the perfect subject, but in the end doesn't follow through on his plans. Yet the next day he finds he's been marked a traitor to the realm-for defiling the emperor's daughter. Something which he did not do.
The Twelve, the emperor's secret guard, are sent after him. And when they catch him, they do not kill him. A worse fate has been set aside for him. He is to lose his humanity and become enslaved to the empire for eternity.
Then he meets his accuser-Princess Yolandra. As he battles with his rising hatred and the invisible chains thrust upon him, he begins to see that all is not as it seems-his fate tied to the possible return of the madness which once before decimated the world around them.
It was her.
And he'd thought he would never lay eyes on her again. Fool. She was supposedly the Emperor's daughter, was she not? Why wouldn't she be found at the Imperial Palace? Yet the idea never crossed his mind. He supposed he'd thought her station too lofty for her ever to be seen by a mere messenger. But this was her home, her family lived here, why would she be locked away?
Home-family-the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him...because of her.
Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.
4 out of 5
The story of Jarrin is exciting and full of suspense. The characters are entertaining and multi-facetted, often not what they appear. The fantasy world holds many elements of the fairy-tale while retaining a clear identity all its own.
Why you'll like it: Absorbing and fast paced plot. Magic, fantasy and a little romance.
Why you won't: The main characters are faultlessly fair and selfless. It could deter those of a more cynical persuasion.
Goodreads - Sam
This book was such a surprise. I was fully prepared to hate the princess, the emperor, the twelve and everybody else except Jarrin, and instead found myself liking all of them. Well except the bad guy. I liked the fact that Jarrin does not stay in monster form for the whole book. I loved taking the journey with Jarrin as he comes to understand why he was accused and see how he comes to terms with what he is. I love the ending and hope that this is the first of many in a series with these characters. I can't say enough good things about this book.
Library Thing - Judy J Soule
At first I was skeptical about this novel, but after the first couple chapters, I was hooked. I thought it was beautifully written and each character had distinct voice. The transformation of the "twelve" was a very creative twist on shapeshifting(the reptilian form), magic, and bodyguards. The concept of the "Blight" was also very interesting, but I would have personally liked more information on the incident. Of course this is not something that hindered the novel or the plot. I also enjoyed the romance between Jarrin and Yolondra, which was pleasantly sprinkled thoughout the novel but didn't overpower the story. Overall this was an excellent novel that I would read again and again.
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