Tuesday, 6 December 2011

From the Herald’s Wearied Eye by Jessica McHugh - Review by Jane

4 Stars

From the grim prison of Malay, the renegade Shal plots her revenge. Once the daughter of a proud monarch, her life has been destroyed by the craven despot Rojer Doa. But Shal answers to a greater destiny that calls her to the amarinthine door and an inevitable meeting with the Capesman, the dark figure who shadows every deed in a cold and forbidding world. A reckoning is coming and Shal will be it's master, or she will lose her soul trying.

Shal considered herself protector of the weak and did whatever she had to in order to succeed in her self appointed task. She became so intent of revenge over her step fathers ill treatment of people, especially her family that she lost sight and became bitter and unable to love. She was blinded by anger to the point where she was a fool to herself, not really thinking things through before she did them or realising that her actions had consequences for other people as well as herself.

I became quite angry at the character at some points, wanting to scream at her to just stop for a minute and think. I suppose the abuse she had suffered at Doa’s hands and the deaths of so many of her loved ones was actually to blame for her blind rage so perhaps I should have pitied her more than I did.

The story did put me in mind of another Jessica McHugh book, ‘Rabbits in the garden’. Although the stories were different there were similarities,…the main character was a girl, locked away in an abusive prison/institution some of the abuse that goes on in these places is quite imaginative and not very nice……….Where do these ideas come from???!!!

I think what fascinates me about JM’s books is the variety, and the strangeness of them, there’s no way to predict the out come, she invents all kinds of different species and worlds that you have nothing in your memory bank to apply to them so can’t imagine what could possibly come next.

As usual I have been left with things to think about, there was a definite moral to this story, and it was nice to see that Shal did infact find peace even though it was not in the way I could ever have foreseen.

Copy supplied for review

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