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The Price of Mercy Paperback – May 23, 2011
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
About the Author
Gloria Oliver lives in Texas making sure to stay away from rolling tumbleweeds, freak storms, and bowing to the wishes of her feline masters. She is the author of In the Service of Samurai, Vassal of El, Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles, and Willing Sacrifice, all fantasy and YA fantasy novels. She is a member in good standing of EPIC and BroadUniverse, but hasn’t yet made it onto the list for Cat Slaves R Us. For sample chapters and more information, please come visit her at www.gloriaoliver.com
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Jarrin is a young man with dreams of being a poet. However, when I met him in the pages of The Price of Mercy, his life is certainly not turning out as he had hoped. Used and then discarded by his former patroness, Jarrin feels trapped in a life he's deeply ashamed of. Just when he thinks things couldn't possibly get any worse, he's hunted down for a crime he didn't commit. I felt myself getting incredibly angry as Jarrin suffered injustice after injustice for something he didn't do. He's never given any explanation, let alone anything that resembles a trial. He is simply caught and punished. I completely understood Jarrin's rage as his former existence is torn away from him.
At first, Jarrin's anger at his plight is all consuming. All he wants are answers. When he finally meets his accuser, Princess Yolandra, he can barely contain the violence threatening to spill out of him. I held my breath wondering if Jarrin would make a bad situation even worse. However, something amazing happens once Jarrin speaks to Yolnadra. He discovers that she too has been forced into making tough choices. Not only do Jarrin and Yolandra become friends, but I was also pleasantly surprised to see the first bloom of romance follow soon after. Jarrin and Yolandra don't have time to dwell on their new feelings because it quickly becomes apparent that someone is plotting against the empire. Jarrin and Yolandra have their suspicions about the culprit, but the motives and goals of their suspect remain murky. Will they figure it out before it is too late?
I do wish Yolandra had been a bit more rounded. She doesn't seem to have any real character flaws. She does what her father asks, even though it causes her suffering, without questioning his motives. She simply does her duty and is incredibly selfless. Still, I did like her spirit and bravery in the face of danger. She never gives up, no matter how dire the situation seems.
I must advise readers that they need to exercise a bit of patience when reading The Price of Mercy as the first part of the tale is a bit slow and is mainly focused on Jarrin and the changes he goes through as he adjusts to his new life. However, once the situation concerning Yolandra becomes clear, the pacing really pick up. My patience was definitely rewarded as I found myself caught up in Jarrin and Yolandra's story as they struggle not only to save themselves, but the world as they know it.
I'm certainly glad I had the opportunity to read The Price of Mercy. The world Ms. Oliver has created is enchanting, and Jarrin is certainly a character I can cheer for. I recommend The Price of Mercy to anyone wanting to escape into a wonderful fantasy with just a touch of romance.
Originally posted at LAS YA Reviews