Thursday, March 27, 2014

Damsel in Distress by Lee French

Title:  Damsel in Distress
Series:  Ilarius
Author:  Lee French
Published:  3/20/2014
Length:  242pgs
Format:  ecopy
Genre:  fantasy
Shelf:  review
Rating:  ★★★★★


Given the burden of safeguarding a precious treasure at a tender age, Sabetia is placed squarely in the middle of a fantastical legend. Swords, demons, magic, a curse: it has everything a great epic tale should. All she needs to do is face the danger that could threaten the world if left unchecked. If only it were so simple. A hero could solve this problem, but she doesn't happen to be one.

A good wife is obedient, patient, obedient, quiet, obedient, doting, and above all, obedient. Sabetia was raised to be a good wife. It makes her perfect prey, a perfect damsel in distress.

My Review:

This novel was definitely very easy to get into. French’s brilliant descriptions place this world directly before your eyes. Everything became so vividly real. It is also an emotionally charged novel that draws you in without letting go. I was a little worried at the beginning, not because of the writing but because I feared the direction the story was taking (side note, there is some content that some readers may find disturbing, but the author deals with it in a very unique way throughout the story). That said, holy smokes. Did this author ever put some twists and turns in the story, keeping me on my toes throughout. I was completely engaged. I also found myself chuckling at the irony of some of the situations the main character found herself in.  French takes the fantasy genres stereotypes and turns them on their heads.  I love that French has developed an entire intricate world as well as a complete religion for this novel. The binding ceremony that these characters participate in is so fulfilling and so uniquely complete that you can’t help but visualize it.

I was so connected to the main character that I could easily visualise myself in her place. Her struggles and aches became mine. It was a surreal experience. This character was a definite case of nurture over nature. Being young and easily moulded into the image that those around her wanted to see she became that individual. When allowed to grown on her own she rose to the occasion. This character was vividly real. I loved her. The supporting cast falls into 2 main groups. Those you love and those you hate. I thought I hated the mother and that she was the evil ice queen until I got to know then husband. This is also one of those stories where bad things happen to good people, that is, until those good people are willing to stand up. By melding all of these things together French created the ultimate cast for this fantasy tale.

Overall, this was a brilliantly intriguing read that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to others. I’ll definitely be following this author much further. Can’t wait for more in this series.

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About the author:

Lee French lives in Worcester, MA with two kids, two bicycles, and too much stuff. She has written several books, including the Maze Beset superhero novel trilogy. In addition, she is an avid gamer and active member of the Myth-Weavers online RPG community, where she is infamous for finding unexpected ways to use squirrels. She also trains year-round for the one-week of glorious madness that is RAGBRAI, has a nice flower garden with absolutely no lawn gnomes, and tries in vain every year to grow vegetables that don’t get devoured by neighborhood wildlife.

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  1. I'd like to see how the domestic abuse is handled.

  2. Sounds very interesting! I love when I can lose myself in a new and completely different world. :)