Friday, February 25, 2011

Review: A Woman Worth Ten Coppers by Morgan Howell

Synopsis: Seer, healer, goddess, slave–she is all these things and more. Yim is a young woman suddenly cast into slavery, a gifted seer with a shocking secret–and a great destiny. Honus is a Sarf, a warrior dedicated to the service of the compassionate goddess Karm. A Sarf’s sole purpose is to serve a holy person called a Bearer. But Honus’s Bearer has been killed by the minions of an evil god known only as the Devourer. Masterless and needing someone to bear his pack, Honus purchases Yim for the price of ten coppers–and their fates are forever entwined. (from the back of the book)

Review: My interest in the book came from two sources: 1) I enjoy Morgan Howell and 2) I was intrigued by the slave part of the story. I was not disappointed. Yim is a complex character, struggling to stay faithful to a goddess who calls Yim to a destiny overrun with hardships, a goddess who seem powerless to allay those hardships or even protect her people in them. Howell does an excellent job of showing the conflict in Yim. Honus is also a well-constructed character, facing his own past, internal conflict and waining faith. Together, they journey physically and metaphorically towards the truth.
Howell's plot and dialogue are well-crafted and he has an uncanny ability to create horrific villains, dark and evil and creepy. The romance and love in the book is handled delicately but not weakly, and I enjoy the way it dawns on the reader about the same time it does the characters, despite having been there the whole time. It's a rare talent to build in such subtlety to the story. Word of warming - don't get attached to any secondary characters: they tend to die with little warning. While the books ends as it should, the story doesn't stop, but flows into the next book (which I'm already three chapters into). I'm excited to see how things turn out.

Booksmarks: 8 of 10

Awards: None

Date Finished: 2-24-2011
Pages: 336

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