Friday, March 28, 2014

First Light - Michelle Frost

 
Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 400
Source: I received a review copy in exchange for my honest review.

From Goodreads:
On the harsh militant world of Sindorus, where even colours are considered sinful, three people living very separate lives are about to have those lives change forever. As deceptions are torn away, and ancient secrets brought to light, they each must struggle to find the missing pieces to the puzzle...answers that will unlock their true destiny

My Review:
This is an awesome book.  We are introduced to the three main characters in the first three chapters.
We meet Idrith, a young man who lives in a monastery.  This was not by his choice.  Idrith, as a young boy goes to live with his uncle due to a scandal and death in his family. Life with his uncle is not easy.  He knows his uncle can't stand him.  He and his cousin Aztar become very close. They share secrets they would not dare tell anyone else. Idrith follows his father into the monastery. His father is well liked.  For Idrith it seems more like a prison until he meets Harmion and finds a secret room.

Daen's family owns land that once grew Rae trees. Rae trees are vital to Sindorous. As the trees have died they have started to raise milk giving animals.  Daen's mother died giving birth to her.  Unlike most women, Daen was raised  with many of the freedoms that boys had.  She was free to read more than others, climbed trees, and ask as man y questions as she wanted. This was great until she was promised in marriage so that her family land would always be hers. The nobleman's son she was to marry had great aspirations.  He definitely would not allow her the freedoms she had grown up with because that could cause a scandal. When her betrothed keeps putting off the wedding her future father-in-law sends her a slave girl as a gift. This girl is a big help to her ailing father. She also introduces her to Harmion who helps her with her art.

Aztar has one goal, to become a Controller before the age of 30.  Most people don't make it before age 40. He has attended the military academy and is moving up at a very fast rate for such a young age. Imagine his surprise when he is called in by the Zah-Riel and made a Controller at age 29 and given a secret mission. The one hitch is he must work with a southerner named Anachar. There are prejudices that abound between the people of the north and south. Aztar is beginning to overcome those prejudices as he works with Aachar.  A letter from his cousin Idrith, delivered by a friend of Anachars proves both worrisome and beneficial at the same time. The friend turns out to be Harmion.

It didn't take me long after I started the book to start making connections to other books. One of the things that is evident from the very beginning is that people are not to have anything to do with colors. They are not allowed to have colorful clothing or pictures, etc.  Everything is drab.  As a teacher I immediately thought of two books "Truesight" by David Stahler. This is about a society that is blind in so many ways following a leadership that only pretends to be blind to keep the people in line. The other book is called "The Giver" by Lois Lowry. In this society everyone does what they are told. No one sees color except Jonas who is being trained by The Giver.  He becomes angry when he learns the truth.  It is the same with the people in this book.  When they learn the truth they are called to action.

The lessons and themes in this book are many. The danger is everywhere.  Will the individuals  find common ground and find the connections that will bind them together, or will the darkness within the Zan-Riel cover them all?

This is a must read book.  I look forward to reading the sequel and anything else this author writes. I was so engrossed I finished the book in one day. Definitely a book I recommend to all fantasy lovers.

 
 

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