Over and over again we have stories of an oppressed people waiting for the Chosen One Saving them and banishing their oppressor(s). Harry Potter, Eragon(hated it), the Naming (also hated it), Arthurian Legend, etc, but this time, Megg Jensen has done it with a twist.
The oppressed people are slaves, and those who are “gifted” are culled early and are known to their masters as having gifts. Each gift varies from person to person, it may be disguise, deception, soothing, hiding, mind reading, gift reading, or any of a million other things but we find that out later.
First we meet Reychel who is a slave girl. She is never allowed to go outside, and is always put to work washing dishes. She often has special audiences with her master, but does not know why. And she has a friend, Ivy. It is clear within the first two chapters or so that Reychel is some kind of seer, but we learn after she is liberated that she is the long awaited Cloud Prophet. Twists and turns put herself and her friends in danger. It really is almost an Underground Railroad type story.
Harkening back to American Slavery, we find that Reychel’s master is also her father (a little cliched, I think, but I’m goin’ with it,) and people she thought were her friends are not.
A harrowing tale, safe for all age groups as there is no swearing, and no sex, it is a fast read. I clocked in under 30 hours. The only thing I didn’t like was the finding out the family relationship between Reychel and her former Master. It felt forced and like it was the only idea that the author could come up with to explain certain actions and get herself out of the corner she found herself in. Please don’t take this as a reflection on the entire story, because even with this one little blip, we still find ourselves in a wonderfully thought out world and a beautiful story of finding oneself.
Enjoy Anathema by Megg Jensen, I know I did!
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