Tempering the Rose
by Dionne Lister2 out of 5
A dark epic fantasy series, where one woman's thirst for revenge will put the entire world in jeopardy.
The only thing twenty-one year old Adrastine wants is revenge against her depraved father—but when she tries to kill him, she is caught and thrown into a holy war for a god she doesn’t believe in. But disaster is coming, and all Adrastine’s problems will seem minor by comparison. Someone, or something, is draining the planet’s lifeblood, killing the land and everything on it at an alarming rate.
Jacob is a shelon, a man who can wield magic, and a spy dispatched by Queen Valtice to find The Rose of Nerine – the only one who can stop the rape of the land and save the people. But when Jacob finds Adrastine, he can’t convince her that she is The Rose, let alone to leave her home and journey with him across the tempestuous sea to Nerine.
Adrastine is drawn to Jacob, despite their differences. But that is a dangerous path, as he is an unwelcome distraction to her quest for revenge. And if she learns his secrets, it will cement her hatred of men forever, weakening powers she is only just learning she has, powers needed to save their world.
Adrastine has had a harsh upbringing, and she will have revenge against the man that tormented her - her father. Only there is something bigger coming, as prophecies come to light.
I received a free copy from Netgalley.
This was kinda meh. It is well-written, but I just couldn't get into it.
It quickly sets Addy up as a determined young woman, an efficient killer, and a deep distrust of men after being abused by her father for years.
She now is driven to kill her father, for revenge, and so he can't hurt anyone else.
The trouble is, Addy's father Radnok, is the head of the Seekers - a group of highly-trained killers, whose job is to hunt those with magic. Radnok is obsessed with power, and his group of Seekers is corrupt; accusing and punishing anyone that stands in their way.
Addy's path is complicated when Jacob turns up and professes that she is the key to a prophecy about his homeland. That even though she was raised to be a magic-hater, she would have special powers.
Addy was... I wanted her to be a tough, independent heroine; but she's a whiny, selfish brat. Despite the fact that she's in her twenties, and a trained and professional killer; she seems incapable of taking care of herself. She's immature, sticks her head in the sand, blocks out every view and opinion that doesn't agree with hers.
Addy is completely against men - and with good reason with her history. But she spends most of the time musing about Jacob. What it would be like to kiss him; to have sex with him; how his top shows off his muscles... Fair enough, there's a love interest; but I felt that Addy had a split personality between her girly thoughts about Jacob; and her bruised and distrusting self. The two parts didn't gel.
Jacob is... a love interest. He's a shelon (magic-user); and smart enough to work undercover for her father and the Seekers. He's a fairly considerate person, and a nice enough character. There was nothing about him that particularly stood out.
OK, let me say that I tried to come back to this book several times, hoping I could push through and get to the good stuff. It's a relatively short book, only about 230 pages, so surely I could do it?
I gave up when I realised I was only halfway through.
So far, there have been some dead fields in Nerine; Smarnus has claimed the throne of Lachmond; Addy had a scrap with her father's men and then holed up in a church with Jacob. Not really epic.
Oh crikey - Smarnus the Smarmy. He happens to be Radnok's "crazy" brother. Which is pretty evident when the guy kills the king of Lachmond in the middle of a crowded court, and claims the crown. During the half that I read, Lachmond has little respect for outsiders and refuses to connect with foreigners. BUT Smarnus (from Treloah) ingratiates himself with the Lachmond court, and after he kills the king, the rest of Lachmond obey him. Because reasons.
I don't think I'll be following the rest of this series.