Saturday, 3 December 2011

Shatter by Elizabeth C. Mock

Shatter
Growing up during the chaos of the Nabosian War, Faela Durante and her entire generation never knew what it meant to live in a time of peace. Though the war ended years ago, the devastation has not. Every decision, no matter how seemingly insignificant, has a consequence and some consequences can never be predicted. But some are foretold.

Less than a year ago, Faela, the first Tereskan mind healer in generations, disappeared from her family home in Finalaran scared and pregnant. Hunted and living as an outcast, Faela searches for a legend that might be her only hope of gaining atonement and returning to her son. When her journey collides with two strangers and a prophecy, she must choose between trusting those around her or endangering her mission. With her past refusing to stay behind her, the consequences of Faela's choices will risk more than her own fate.


With such a synopsis, I would have expected this book to be pretty much about Faela. There was a lot that was about her in the story, but there were also a lot of others characters that interacted with Faela, and travelled with her, each with their own motivations.

Let's start with the two strangers mentioned on the back cover. One uses her as a human shield against the other, and being the good person she is, she decides to play judge and settle their differences. She ends up with a boy in her debt, Jair (the Destroyer), and this means trailing along with her through the forest to an uncertain destination.

What about the other stranger? He goes away for a bit (he is in need of some shopping) but he returns, intent on having his revenge on Jair, because he stole a bit more than just his boots. But on finding our party of two again, he ends up saving the day – for they are in trouble. But just barely, as he, Kade, comes very close to dying. And so Faela in now in debt to him (although not really, she managed to stop his certain death), and since they are all in pretty bad shape they have to rest until they can go on their way. But some bounty hunters appear! They are looking for Jair, and Kade is looking for them, and Faela is related to them. Isn't it a small world?

But these bounty hunters don't join the gang (of three, so far). Who joins is a couple that has been looking for Faela, Mireya a young girl that is something like an oracle and her husband Dathien who is her protector. Mireya had spoken a prophecy about Faela, and decided she needed to help her. And they are not the only ones who join up. The twins Eve and Sheridan come looking for Kade, as he is their prime suspect for a heinous crime, and Eve brings along a bard that hides who he is.

So, with our party of 8 (sometimes 10 for the brief periods the bounty hunters join in), we travelled through the kingdom of Nabos, trying to find the answers Faela is looking for. Why the others go with her? One, because she is kind of an anathema when it comes to magic. Two, because she is searching for something that is only a legend, and that no one believes is real. Well, no one apart from Mireya. And three, because there is like a web of people that want to get other people and have promised to care of other that makes disentangling the group kind of hard.

So, what did I think of it. The short version is I liked it. I did, there was a really nice set of magic, divided into colours, that made it easy to understand what everyone did. And the story of Faela is sad but I loved to find out about it. What I really did like was the banter between characters. Not all of them, but Sheridan and Jair were really funny (together or with anyone else). And the dynamic of Kade and Faela was also very good.

To tell the truth, I liked Faela. She wasn't a teenager bent on adventure and excitement. She was a grown woman, who had made something really bad, and was trying to fix it the best way she could, not for her, but for her son, who she had to leave behind, but was never far from her thoughts. She liked solitude and calm, and sometimes the big group got too much for her, and that is something I can relate to.

The ending was a cliffhanger, not a very mean one, but still, it was heart-wrenching because of the tragedy of it. And now I want to know what happens next.


Rating: 4 out of 5

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