by Clare C. Marshall
That’s what instinct told me.
But in order to save the secrets of my people
and to protect my brother
I have to become the enemy.
There are two kinds of people in the land of Marlenia. The Marlenians, who live on the surface, and the Freetors, who are forced to live underground. The war between them ended two hundred years ago, but the Freetors still fight for the right to live under the sun. Fifteen-year-old Kiera Driscoll embodies the Freetors’ hopes as the Violet Fox. In a violet cape and mask, she sneaks around Marlenia City stealing food and freeing her people from slavery. Then the Elders task her with a secret mission: retrieve a stolen tome that contains the secrets of Freetor magic, something the Marlenians both fear and covet. Kiera must disguise herself as a noblewoman and infiltrate the Marlenian castle before the Freetor-hating Advisor finds out her real identity, before her brother is imprisoned because of the secrets he hides, and before she falls any more in love with the prince she’s supposed to hate. More is happening in the castle than she realizes, and Kiera is faced with a difficult choice. Will she be loyal to her people and their fight for freedom, or will she be loyal to her heart?
Author Bio: Clare Marshall grew up in rural Nova Scotia with very little television and dial up internet, and yet, she turned out okay. She has a combined honours degree in journalism and psychology from the University of King’s College, and is a graduate from Humber College’s Creative Book Publishing Program. She founded Woulds & Shoulds Editing and Design in 2010 for self-published authors and businesses looking for quality editing and design services. She enjoys publishing books through her publishing imprint, Faery Ink Press, and released her first novella, Within in 2011. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing the fiddle and making silly noises at cats.
I loved this book. To me, it was sort of Robin Hood mixed with Mockingjay mixed with a fairy tale with a little bit of The Time Machine sprinkled in all rolled up into one story. I had no idea what to expect and while there were tons of elements from other popular stories, I thought it was a unique and well executed idea with a strong female heroine. The cover is also stunning and caught my eye when I was asked to participate in the blog tour.
The world building in this novel was superb. I felt like I really understood the way people lived and thought and the prejudices they kept. The characters were also well done and complex and believable. I loved Kiera as a character. She was strong and valiant and opinionated and cared a lot about her people, enough to become The Violet Fox, a symbol for her people. I say that the story reminds me a bit of Mockingjay and there are similarities that I think other readers will enjoy between Katniss and Kiera. I prefer Kiera mostly because even though they were both strong symbols of revolt in their worlds, Katniss was accidentally symbolic and Kiera was The Violet Fox on purpose.
The Violet Fox was a bit of a superhero and a Robin Hood and I loved that Kiera had the guts to go onto the surface with the Marlenian people dressed in violet and wearing a mask, despite being the most wanted Freetor. She got herself into some sticky situations, but she had no fear. I also loved the close relationship she had with her brother, who kept her grounded. When she took on the mission to stay in the castle as a noblewoman, I realized how little fear she really had. As long as she was doing the right thing for her people, she was fearless. She chose to be the Violet Fox, but she didn't hide behind a mask or a persona. She truly wanted to help her people and did what she had to do. She learned the ways of the Marlenian people enough to fit in flawlessly and that’s where the story really took some twists and turns.
Kiera grew as a character as she was imitating a Marlenian. She finally saw things from their point of view and it changed her in many ways. Still, she continued to do the right thing and kept close to her brother. She questioned many of the actions of the Marlenians and drew the attention of the prince, who was intrigued by her outbursts. This is where Kiera's convictions aren't quite so clear to her and she struggles with preconcieved notions. From this point, I felt like the characters were believable and the story was real because of the decisions and emotions all of the characters had to deal with and overcome.
This story had tons of eventful scenes and adventure, but the thing I liked most about it was how the characters grew and how different elements came together at the end. It was well written and descriptive from Kiera’s point of view. There were a lot of twists as the story progressed, making it entirely unpredictable to me. Even when I thought I had things figured out, I was wrong.
I would definitely recommend this to others. Kiera’s strength as a female character was refreshing. I cannot wait to read the sequel. While this book ends at a good stopping point, I am excited that there will more to the story!
As part of the blog tour, the author is hosting an international giveaway for a physical copy of the book and other great prizes. Enter to win in the rafflecopter form below!
Labels: Blog Tour, Review