The Keeper and the Rulership
By Emily Martha Sorensen
I like books about magic, I like books with minority leads, I like books that have a bit of magical fantasy in them. And that’s what I got here.
This is kind of like a big pot of magic, somewhat dystopian society, romance, and basic hero rises to her calling. Its not exactly cliché as it has a fairly original plot, its just that the way things played out made me feel like I would know the ending before I got there.
In the beginning we have Raneh, a pretty good female lead. She’s something like royalty but of course she’s fed up with being upper-class but whatever—what kind of princess protagonist ever likes being royalty? I could actually see why Raneh didn’t enjoy everything about her life, though. She lived in a society where her gifts were forbidden. If that’s not oppressive enough try having your mother on your case about marrying someone who’s deathly loyal to the rulers of that society?
Yeah, so she wasn’t exactly the happiest camper in the book.
I kind of felt like Raneh was a little bit dry as I read through the story. That’s not as much of a complaint as it might sound though. Her personality is kind of like … meh … most of the time. But it really worked. I think most of the personality in the book was poured in by the other characters who were also enjoyable. I liked having this kind of depressing, gloom and doom girl as the lead. There weren’t very many exclamation points in her portions of dialogue, not much yelling, or hissing. Just kind of very standard reactions. But, again, it really worked! I liked Raneh and I got a kick out of her reactions to things. I’m really not sure if the author’s intentions was to make her somewhat impersonal and maybe I’m interpreting her incorrectly but I like this interpretation. It didn’t take away from the story at all.
What did take away from the story a little was the cover. I do like it but I think it doesn’t depict the inside very well. If I hadn’t been approached by the author seeking a review I probably would not have picked up the book. It looks like it’s about Malaysian farmers or something. But its not at all. There’s a lot of good stuff in this book, character development, plot twists, not to mention great writing. Even though there aren’t laser beams, ogres, and time travel, there is some world building here as our characters live in a society completely made up by the author.
All in all, I think Sorensen did a good job on this book. I look forward to more books written by her and I do hope to see more of Raneh in the future!
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest*