Monday, February 11, 2013

Sacrifice, by Cayla Kluver- Review

From Goodreads:
This is not the time for the fight to end. Now is when the fight will begin. This is the time to regain what has been lost.
Alera
Queen of a fallen kingdom, secretly in love with the enemy.
Shaselle
Daughter of a murdered father, rebel with a cause.

One lives behind the former Hytanican palace walls and walks the razor's edge to keep the fragile peace in her beloved homeland. The other slips through the war-torn streets, seeking retribution for her family's tragedy, following whispers of insurgency.


Both face choices that will separate them from those they cannot help but love. As their stories intertwine, a conspiracy ignites that may end in slavery or death—or lead to freedom anew, if only each can face what must be sacrificed.

I don't know where I got the faith to carry on with this series, but I was just so damn sure this would be the book where it all turned around.  Alera had finally been put in full control, under a powerful woman no less, this was totally going to be the moment she became more than the fainting damsel in distress.  And the boy issues, well I was really not pleased about the turn it took in book two, but there was time for them to be rectified as well.  Maybe Narian would finally become a real character instead of the good looking, mysterious blond guy who might be a little bit evil.  Or maybe Alera would finally realise that Steldor was far better than she'd originally thought, and figure out she'd screwed up, not him.  Maybe gummy bears would start growing under my bed instead of dust bunnies, one can always hope.  Of course I couldn't eat gummy bears if they grew under my bed because I have cats, and they cannot be trusted around food.  Anyhow, my point is, I lost out all around. 
YES, even with the gummy bears!

Although Shaselle was, at first, a welcome reprieve to Alera, reading Sacrifice was akin to book reading torture.  I have been reading a book every two days for a month, and this baby took me close to a week.  I just couldn't bring myself to read, and when I did I would get so frustrated by the story I would have to get up and walk away.  Often while expounding on how annoying Alera was, and how stupid the story arc was getting, at length.  The hubby probably got the equivalent of 10 mini rant-reviews of Sacrifice.


Picture a lot of this.  Except I'm pregnant, which makes it more impressive.
I have never read a series before where the main character had zero growth or development in anyone let alone the main character, and the fact Alera manages to stay the same hopeless, under-informed, and downright selfish girl through an arranged marriage, a coronation, a war, a love affair, an oppression and a rebellion is possibly its very own achievement in writing.  Sadly, Shaselle is written the same pigheaded way.  She starts off being interesting as she doesn't fit the mold and flaunts convention to every ones consternation, but as the story develops and she repeatedly walks into progressively stupider and more dangerous situations I became fed up with her as well.  When she gets drunk and tells the enemy (who is cute and keen on her, but STILL THE ENEMY!) about the Hytanican rebellion plans, orchestrated by all the living male members of her family, I knew I officially couldn't stand her either.  I mean honestly. NOBODY, gets that drunk.  And before you argue the fact, consider that everyone she knows will be executed brutally on that information.  See, I told you. Nobody, gets that drunk.

I think the most insulting part of this book is how Kluver tries to develop this Romeo and Juliet forbidden love between Alera and Narian during this book, while all around them people are being ground down, executed and are in dire straits.  Steldor is out there risking his life continually, while trying to distract the Cokyrians from uncovering the real rebellion attempt, but Narian and Alera are supposed to tug my heart strings because nobody accepts their relationship. Do you hear that? It's the sound of me playing my teeny weeny violin in an agony of feels for them.

Shaselle has her own silly love affair that seems to have had no point to it other than to move the plot forward.  Sadly it was her storyline that held the potential to be a much more poignant story of forbidden love, but then Kluver glibly kills Saadi off and Shaselle even more glibly comments about how she didn't love him anyhow and just like that, they wash their hands of the whole thing.

This series was well beyond disappointing, without a single story thread that was worth plowing through all 1424 (cringe) pages.  Kluver shows potential with some of her sub characters, so hopefully her next book is much stronger, but she's going to have to make serious inroads with her female characters before I would consider reading anything else.

Sacrifice, by Cayla Kluver
Published by Harlequin Teen, October 12, 2012
Buy Sacrifice on Amazon

1 comment:

  1. Such pretty covers! Too bad the content isn't as good.

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