Friday, April 21, 2017

Review: Bound by Blood and Sand by Becky Allen (L)

Synopsis: Jae is a slave in a dying desert world. Once verdant with water from a magical Well, the land is drying up, and no one remembers the magic needed to keep the water flowing. If a new source isn’t found soon, the people will perish. Jae doesn’t mind, in a way. By law, she is bound by a curse to obey every order given her, no matter how vile. At least in death, she’ll be free. Elan’s family rules the fading realm. He comes to the estate where Jae works, searching for the hidden magic needed to replenish the Well, but it’s Jae who finds it, and she who must wield it. Desperate to save his realm, Elan begs her to use it to locate the Well. But why would a slave—abused, beaten, and treated as less than human—want to save the system that shackles her? Jae would rather see the world burn. Though revenge clouds her vision, she agrees to help if the realm’s slaves are freed. Then Elan’s father arrives. The ruler’s cruelty knows no limits. He is determined that the class system will not change—and that Jae will remain a slave forever. (from the online description)

Review: I picked this from the Library, after reading the first few pages as a sample. I was intriguing by the premise and expected it to be interesting, but your typical YA angst.
It was a bit more. Allen delves deeper into slavery and elitism, oppression and rebellion. She very much demonstrates the idea that Winners Write History, and what that means for the Losers of the conflict. The character developed is solid, and the romance isn’t obnoxious or overshadowing of conflict. And the Jae, she isn’t perfect or all-powerful. She isn’t always good. She is a hurt, abused, slave who finds herself in possession of unheard of power – and finds herself tempted to use it for revenge. The plot is fast-paced and well-done, despite relying on a few forced spots or coincidences to move things forward. The world building is complex enough to enjoy, but not so convoluted as to lose the reader.
It must be noted this is Allen’s first published book. It lacks the polish and finesse of more experience writers. However, her second book comes out in December, and I am certain as time goes and she gains experience, we will seem fantastic stories come from her mind. I look forward to reading them. 

Bookmarks: 3.5 of 5

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-1-101-93214-8
Year Published: 2016
Date Finished: 3-30-2017
Pages: 320

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