Release date: 11 Feb 2011
I have been very naughty with this book. It was one of the first books that I requested on NetGallery, and about 5 months later I have finally got around to reading it. The first thing that drew me into this book was the cover. I know the saying is “you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover”, but I am awful for doing just that. On many occasions I will read a book based on it’s cover alone, I won’t even bother reading the blurb. This was one of those books. For those who must have the blurb before they read a book, here it is:
Reychel is a slave girl surrounded by magic, lies, and manipulation. Her best friend disappears in the middle of the night leaving Reychel to face her fifteenth birthday, the day her master burns his brand into the back of her bald head, alone.
Sheltered from the outside world and without any hope for escape, can Reychel learn to believe in herself?
This book was quite short, and was easily read in a day. I really liked the beginning of this; , slaves imprisoned, and just before they’re about to be branded they manage to escape. However, for me it went down hill from there… This is where they reveal that the two escaped slaves have magic, and are supported in their escape by others with magic too. However, as it is outlawed, they have to keep it hidden. Despite it being interesting that different people have different powers, I personally feel that it would have been a lot more exciting without the magic element; if they had to escape without magic, and try and get the captured slaves back without it.
Due to it being short, it made the character development very abrupt and unbelievable. I find it hard to believe that someone who has been a slave for 15 years would quickly change from being shy and subjected to being a bold, confident leader in a couple of months. Especially considering nothing major happened to her in these months, she was hiding out in a comfy house, being taught about herbs.
My main issue, and why I gave this book such a low score, was it was really predictable. I could immediately predict who the prophet was, and who the king was marrying. There was only one surprise element in there. For me, this is immediately a low score, as I don’t enjoy it as much.
Anathema was an interesting book. It had a very good base idea, but it just wasn’t used to it’s full potential. I was intrigued at times, but generally found it very predictable. I found that the characters didn’t have enough time to develop, and the ones who did were rushed. Overall, I wanted more from this book, and don’t think I will read the next books in the series.