Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Crow God's Girl, Patrice Sarath

The Crow God's Girl (Gordath, #3)Dear Mom and Dad, Well, I'm here. It's not so bad, and I don't want you to worry, even though I guess you will. 

That letter to her parents, will of course, never be sent. Kate knows that very well. "Kate Mossland is an ordinary teenager in a strange and dangerous land. She has crossed the gordath, the portal between our world and Aeritan, and may never go home again. She has accepted her new life as foster daughter to Lord Terrick and is engaged to be married to his son Colar, a young noble whose life she saved and whom she loves.  But all is not easy in the House of Terrick. The servants distrust her, the men-at-arms disdain her, and learning how to be a great lady is harder than it looks. Every misstep brings her closer to ruin, and Kate must walk a fine line between independent teen and modest noblewoman. When the youngest son of Lord Terrick is kidnapped by armed thugs, Kate and a mysterious young girl named Ossen make a daring rescue. But her unladylike courage only strengthens her enemies’ hatred. Then in a single blow Kate learns that her life is truly not her own. As Aeritan teeters on the brink of war, and promises once made are so easily broken, Lord Terrick demands that Kate submit to a new role. But Kate is not so easily managed. Together with Ossen and the girl’s rough and roguish brothers, she leaves the protection of the only House she has known in Aeritan to choose her own path and find her true home."

I don't normally read self-published books, but the author offered me a review copy. Besides, the first two books in the series were published by Ace. I have not read them, but I was still able to enjoy The Crow God's Girl. The story is compelling, and the book is well-written. I could surmise a lot of what happened in the first two books, although there are some details that I'm still fuzzy on. The whole idea of the gordath itself doesn't make that much sense. Also, how Kate could understand the language of the Terricks was a bit strange, as well as how her brain reset and she couldn't read or write English anymore. 

I really enjoyed the character of Kate; she's strong and independent, despite being in a foreign (and incredibly sexist) new world. She still sticks up for herself and tries to figure things out, but she's also not afraid to ask Colar for a bit of help now and then. Kate's really annoyed with him, because he hasn't helped her much at all, whereas when he was stuck on Earth, she basically saved him and brought him back to his own world. 

Aeritan in some ways may seem like a lovely place to live, but Kate quickly realizes that a lot of modern things she takes for granted are not present. For example, women's rights are not a given. There are no hospitals or advanced medications, and there is no birth control or electricity. It's a very difficult place to live for someone used to modern conveniences. 

One thing that interested me was that Kate just seemed to believe in the gods that the people of Aeritan believe in. I suppose in the previous books, she's had enough evidence to accept that they exist, but it seemed to me kind of far-fetched. The religion kind of annoyed me, although it was interesting.

The Crow God's Girl was a really absorbing fantasy novel; it had beautiful descriptions of the land and the food. The writing, though not outstanding, was really compelling. I didn't want to put the book down once I had gotten into it. The world-building was really interesting too; I loved reading about Aeritan and the politics of the realm.

Colar kind of annoyed me with how fickle he was; throughout the book his heart is in the right place but he makes a lot of mistakes of various natures. 

I think the story itself was really, really good, and it's a shame that the author couldn't find a publisher, because although some books are self-published because they're not good enough to be accepted, this is certainly not one of them. The characters, the writing, the plot, and the development of this fantasy novel are all superbly done. It's one that I will probably reread. I may go back and read the first two books as well. A link to buy it on Amazon here

Read The Crow God's Girl:
  • if you like fantasy
262  pages. 

Rating: ****

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