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"Princess Taoshira of the Blue Crescent Islands is appalled when she is ordered to marry Prince Ramil of Gerfal. And he's not too pleased, either. She is used to a life of discipline, ritual, and splendor. He is used to hunting and carousing. They hate each other on sight. But both of their countries are under threat from a fearsome warlord, and the only chance of peace is to form an alliance.
When Tashi and Ram are kidnapped, they fear there's no escape--from their kidnappers or from each other. Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive ambush, unarmed combat, brainwashing, and imprisonment? And will the people they meet on their adventure—including a circus strongman, a daring rebel leader, a sinister master of spies, and the best female fighter they have ever seen--help them or betray them to the enemy?"
This book was a surprise. It starts out slow with the readers learning about two different cultures that have been fated to cross paths because an alliance of state is needed for both countries. This fate is what neither party wanted, but alas, it is what has to happen to save the lands. Or is it?
Once we meet the two main characters, Ramil and Taoshira or Ram and Tashi, we are thrust into a world where violence, intolerance, slavery, and misgivings are normal.
Reading this in the times that are before all of us now with racism, intolerance, and violence I saw a huge correlation, obviously. This story teaches us that no matter the culture, no matter who people choose to worship, we should be kind to everyone no matter who they and act with love and not hate.
The theme of the overall book was captivating because of how much it related to our world because this is a world all its own. Golding does a wonderful job at explaining the landscapes, buildings, and surrounding locations to the readers. The only thing I wanted more was the emotions of the characters and how they felt for one another. The feelings of the characters were thrust into situations that they only thought about that and then the main characters were in love at the end. I wish there was more description of their love for one another. She did include their feelings, but I wanted more. I wanted to feel there love and I only got that in the conclusion.
The one thing that I thought was hard to follow with the book was the narrative. The author wrote in the third person, but switched who was talking quite a bit. I thought it was necessary to the plot to do this, but I think she should have done more research in how other authors do it because I was very confused in the beginning until I found her rhythm and had to read intently to figure out who was speaking at the time.
Overall, I was very impressed with this piece of work. I think Golding did very well in creating a world where different cultures can clash and see a light at the end of the tunnel. I also think that she created a world where you can clearly see the differences in people and their way of life through their locations, personalities due to culture and tradition, outward appearances, and understanding of life.
I would give this book a four out of five. Four being with the narrative confusion and wanting more because even though this book was almost 400 pages, she could have done so much more of it. Makes me think it could be a TV show.