Anathema by Megg Jensen is the story of a slave girl, Reychel, who has only been allowed to see the sky a handful of times, because her master knows her secret, and when she escapes she finds much more than her freedom; she finds her destiny
I grabbed Anathema off of the Kindle store when it was free (thanks for the tip Angelya!) and am very glad I did. I’m still getting used to indie books, but very much enjoyed this one!
Author: Megg Jensen
Pages: 206 paperback
Genre-ish: YA Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★☆ - Great story, Indie shortcomings
Setting: The ruling class tricked the lower class into slavery generations ago and has done everything they can to stifle the prophecy of a savior coming in the current generation. Once in a while a child in the lower class will be born Gifted, and some of these Gifted have used their power to rescue others from slavery, all waiting for the Prophet to return and save them.
Premise: Reychel remembers only slavery and darkness. She is only allowed to look out windows in the presence of her master, and even then it is a rare occurrence. That is, until she is rescued just before being branded on her 15th birthday. This starts a wild adventure of discovery as she finds out she has more power than she ever imagined, and her master had good reason to fear her.
- Really cool magic system premise, I’m excited to find out about new gifts!
- Well built society, ex: slaves shave their heads bald everyday so even if they escape they can’t blend in without help, and it is said that if a slave is able to hide until their hair grows in, they deserve to be free
- Realistically strong female character who is also quite likable, refreshing
- Some fun plot twists, I saw a couple coming, but it was still nice story development
- Refreshing twist on the hero/savior story line, since Reychel doesn’t have the type of gift you’d think a savior would have
- As has been said in a few of the goodreads reviews, Indie authors are hard-pressed to hide a lack of top-notch and pricey editing; a few typos and choppy sentences as can be expected
- I am so not a fan of YA love triangles which are so popular lately, and there is a love triangle in Anathema which seems a little forced to me, though it developed fairly naturally, but I’m worried it’ll be more front and center in the next book….
- All the different gifts have the possibility of getting a little overdone, but so far Jensen is pulling them off with a lot of originality, keep it up!
- Too short! I was surprised when the novel was done and really wish that some of the montage segments had been expanded to give a more satisfying adventure story
I honestly am tempted to go with four and a half stars on this book, and really encourage everyone to try to find a copy. I’m fairly picky when it comes to indie books and YA books, so the fact that Anathema impressed me for both of those categories speaks very highly of it. I am really looking forward to reading the sequel because the coming adventure looks awesome!
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Similar Stories Reviewed:
Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey – Another woman finding her destiny in an easy read
Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk – Another woman finding out she has a lot more power and a much bigger destiny than she imagined