CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. 978-1495259630.
Available from Amazon.com
Synopsis: Ember is a child when she is abandoned in a dark temple because of an ancient curse. Within the confines of her prison, she becomes acquainted with a mysterious voice from a long-dead creature that promises to get her out if she promises to do its bidding. Eager to escape, Ember agrees, but continues to live in fear even after she is found: will the creature within her help to remove the curse or will she become a slave to its hidden motives?
Why I picked it up: A very dear friend of mine has a close relationship with the author and since she knows I love fantasy, she suggested I read it.
Why I finished it: What instantly intrigued me about this book is the imagery. Kannon’s fluid descriptions of Ember’s world transport the reader to a Middle Eastern setting that is replete with the sinister and the supernatural. I appreciated that Kannon showed the reader enough to ground them in the setting and doesn’t beat them over the head with a lengthy narrative regarding the particular brownness of the sand. When the reader first meets Ember, she is in the dark and alone, but as the plot moves along, she emerges from the darkness (both figuratively and literally) to become a self-sufficient young woman. She’s a curious, quick witted, and intelligent, which all become key factors in her journey to discover the mysterious creature inhabiting her body and who she is as a person. It’s a masterful combination of historical fiction and fantasy that will charm the reader from page one and keep them hooked until the final dramatic conclusion.
Other related materials: Beast from the Sea by R.B. Kannon; Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle series by CLAMP; Dreamweaver Road by Kelly Ann Jacobson; The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson; The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien; The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis; The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel; The Riverman by Aaron Starmer; Dreamwood by Heather Mackey; The Nethergrim by Matthew Jobin; The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann