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A Season of Honor Paperback – February 12, 2014
"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
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Alford keeps the tension taut, and the pace clipping along as Shawn du Locke actually starts to fall in love with Elina himself, jeopardizing an already dangerous mission to keep her safe from the attempts that the Emperor has sanctioned on her life. Du Locke must then question whether his personal desires outweigh the oath he gave to see Elina handed over to her betrothed. This budding romance, along with the questionable fate of the Human Galactic Human Empire, gives the plot layers of intrigue, and creates a provocative dynamic in the novel's theme of determining the essence of honor.
Shawn du Locke is a well-crafted and fascinating character, and the adventure he engages within A Season of Honor is well worth the read. If you like your Sci-Fi to go beyond lasers and aliens, L.D.Alford has created a universe that will suck you into a captivating black hole.
...Far in the future, humanity operates under feudal rules from the distant past. "Honor" is not subject to change for convenience's sake. There may be rebellion against Honor, but no compromise.
...How is the story? Excellent! The reader fits easily into the author's created world, feeling the action, not watching from outside. The setting does not demand belief in the impossible. The time is futuristic and the society archaic, but the characters are well painted and realistic. The story builds steadily but uncomfortably to a climax. I say "uncomfortably" because the reader may eventually have to choose between real world needs (like sleep) or finishing the book. In my case, the book won.
...Shawn du Locke has good reason to rebel against honor. Past pursuit of it cost him his position, his rights, and the life of the woman he loved. Now he has made an oath to a person he trusted; as a result, he must face what he lost and must deliver what he would prefer to flee or keep for himself. If he were to forego honor, his solution would be simple.
...Herein lies the other problem with a series. The immediate situation is resolved, but not everything is wrapped up with a ribbon. As in life, another challenge lies around the corner. Mr. Alford has left an opening to sell me another book.
The story unfolds from the hero's perspective. He is a hero with all of the classical 'princely virtues.' He is knowledgeable in all aspects of politics, warfare and espionage. Quite different from other trilogies, the series has multiple heroes, and the third and final chapter is told from the perspective of 'the Dragon.'
Our hero, Shawn Du Locke, after accepting a 'discommendation' in the first installment of the trilogy, has been banished for 10 years. He has lost his title, property, and even his name. He is charged with transporting a young 'princess' to an arranged marriage, and (of course), he falls in love with her.
Political intrigue runs ramped. Our hero must find an honorable solution not only for himself, but for the Lady Elina Acier. He must also visit a self serving Emperor and confront him with his treachery, and direct the Hall of Accords in a peaceful and stable direction.
A great finish to the trilogy, and a joy to read, written with an expressive style and good taste.