Today’s Team review is from Suraya, find her at http://www.thestorymint.com
Suraya has been reading The Sapphire Legend by E.L Tenenbaum
The Sapphire Legend, Part I
By E.L. Tenenbaum
A review by Suraya Dewing
Although I am not a fantasy reader, and I approached this with that prejudice, I soon changed my mind. Within the first five pages realised that the elements of good storytelling can belong to any genre….that is strong characterisation, good pace, tension (rising and falling) and description. The Sapphire Legend had me wanting to get back to it whenever other priorities called me away and this is what caused my change of perspective.
The Sapphire Legend opens to the heroine, Sapere’s wedding. There is great celebration in the village and the prospect of being a wife excites Sapere whose arranged marriage to Nashere follows all the traditions of one of the five tribes of Oro. Although she is happy, she is also anxious about how her husband will react when he discovers she has ‘the gift’. The ‘gift’ normally passes from father to son, so it is unusual that it has passed to a girl.
Her ‘gift’ has led to her being an accomplished hunter with knife skills that surpass anyone else’s. This is a secret as are the marks that signify she has the ‘gift’.
A sudden attack by an invading tribe ends the nuptials and Sapere leads the survivors into the Wild. We learn how they go about re-establishing their community despite loss of loved ones and the comforts of their former homes. We watch as they come to terms with tragedy and loss. Perhaps this narrowly opened door allows Sapere to shine and establish herself as a leader despite being a woman.
As I stated in my opening paragraph, the elements of good storytelling apply to all genre and I found myself enjoying this novel because of its strong characterisation, clear narrative and description. However, the lack of foreshadowing of Neshek’s betrayal was an opportunity missed. The author could have hinted at his impending treachery by raising questions in the reader’s mind about his loyalty and suitability to win Sapere’s affection.
Nevertheless, The Sapphire Legend opens up a door to an imaginary world that has all elements of human frailty and greatness. I thought the main character shows humanity, inner strength as well as moments of weakness so that she is a leader rather than a super hero.
It is a well written story and a tremendous adventure played out on a realistic, well imagined landscape.