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Ryann Paperback – July 12, 2012
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I enjoyed and thoroughly loved this Novella. This is 106 pages and reads well enough to be a novel. I'm hoping there is more to Ryann's story.
I've had this one in my kindle for a while-waiting. I've avoided it. Maybe because it seemed it might be Young Adult and it seemed shorter than what I prefer. The upside to that is that no matter how long it sits it's not getting any better or worse while it's there. There might be some books that ferment over time but this wouldn't be one.
I say that from the point of view that a fermented book is probably going to be pretty nasty.
Expecting YA doesn't always make something YA. I in fact have seen a few that I've decided that I'd not encourage any young adults living at home (particularly my home) to read. This one almost hit that barrier with the rough treatment of the slaves. Thankfully we moved on from there and paced all of that to a reasonable level that clearly is designed to make the reader dislike Bramwel the son of Lord Cala. It also demonstrates why we should hold little if any regard for Lord Cala.
I think that Paul Dorset does a great job even without the beatings at making Bramwel a detestable cowardly self-absorbed and shallow young man.
On another level it's nice to see that no punches are pulled when dealing with the subject of Serfs servitude and slavery. At times it almost seemed there were inconsistencies but there was a strangely precarious balancing act going on between Bram and his father, which may explain the appearance of inconsistency.
It was insightful to look into the economic dynamics of the system. It's a marvelous system that always favors the house with little chance of having the major player break even let alone win.
It becomes apparent that the only way out is to die.
Ryann gets a first hand glimpse of that truth from the very beginning when the whip beating of her friend Megan leads to Megan's death. The disregard for life is demonstrated when the loss of life is only lamented in that the household can not afford to replace this slave.
Ryann begins to tread a thin line with Bramwel, wishing for her freedom and already trying to come up with ways to engineer revenge for Megan. It's clear, though, that getting freedom will be an long seemingly endless process. She may never have enough money earned, to test the rule that she can buy her freedom with twenty silver.
This story demonstrates the misuse of power and authority to subjugate people to a point that the masters lose sight of the necessity to build good will with the servants. When the servants are turned into slaves and conditions are stacked against them towards never being able to buy themselves free the outcome can only lead to a disregard for their life and well-being.
Having been in management many times in the past I can actually draw parallels to this even in our free society. Especially so where raises and promotions are tied to a system of evaluations and reviews that easily fall into the hands of people who enjoy wielding power over people and hanging that carrot in front of them with the full knowledge they never will obtain it.
Not everyone or everything is this bad but I would recommend this to everyone to read to help gain a clear idea of what to watch for and avoid when choosing a profession.
Don't get me wrong here-this book is not preaching anything. This was just my own creepy impression over the length of the narrative. Most of the narrative is the setup to explain what Ryann does.
And I'll even cut Lord Cala a small amount of slack in saying that he'll at least once redeem himself. I'm in no way satisfied that that's enough to totally redeem him.
Great fiction with a good message that everyone needs to consider. Young and old alike no matter what Genre you prefer you can't go wrong with this little Novella.
Ryann wants to buy her freedom, she only needs to save twenty silver pieces but only gets paid fifteen copper coins per week, of which it costs her five for room and board and then clothes every now and then, and if she gets any beatings she has to pay as well. It takes twenty copper coins to make a silver coin. As you can see the chances of her buying her freedom are pretty slim. But she comes up with another plan...
The characters were well developed. I was pulled right in to Ryann's struggles and kept hoping that something would go her way. For a novella this was well crafted and held my rapt attention. I look forward to reading more by this author.
One-by-one, Ryann watches her friends die at the hands of Bramwell, a spoiled scion of the lord of the manor, who must struggle with his own demons. Finally, Ryann realizes that there is only way out for her, she must duel with Bramwell.
The action, as she prepares for her fateful encounter, is non-stop and the emotions are raw and nerve-jangling. Although written for a young audience, Ryann will also appeal to older fans of the genre. This is a well written short piece that can be read in one sitting, and at the end will leave you wanting more.