Title: The Third Scroll
Author: Dana Marton
Publisher: Dana Marton
Publication date: May 1st 2012
Source: I own a copy.
Sold into slavery, Tera, a budding healer is thrust into the savage realm of barbarian warlords, the same realm which claimed her mother years ago. She must avoid the displeasure of her warrior lord and survive the cruelties of the concubines, even as war threatens on the horizon.
Yet a greater danger looms when she catches the eye of the most powerful lord of the land and he takes her for his Pleasure Hall. Tera struggles to escape, while searching for the secret behind her mother’s death. But what she discovers challenges everything she believes in. A path set long ago beckons. A path that could lead to triumph, or the destruction of her world.
I love love love being surprised by a book. I’d never heard of Dana Morton before she was linked up to by another author for a giveaway and I discovered her by liking her Facebook page. Then I spotted a few posts about The Third Scroll, and loved the cover enough to check it out. And then I spotted it was only 77p on Amazon and the rest is history.
Now don’t get me wrong, 77p self-published books don’t often get my attention just because of their price, so I have no idea why I chose this one over others. But I’m so glad I did because it’s one of the best 77p’s I’ve spent in a long while.
The writing is decent. Dana’s style is fluid despite being written in a more traditional sense to befit the genre, and descriptive without being over-bearing, as well as appearing to have been spilled with an ease that carries the reader along with little hitch to their stride.
The world building is just the right amount. Admittedly, the world ‘fantasy’ is enough to send me scurrying into the shadows (yet another notch on the mystery as to why I bought this book). However, the unfolding of the traditions held much more airtime than the visual aspects of this world and I believe that was likely why I tolerated it so well–because there is nothing worse than waiting impatiently to see what happens next and then the author thrusts a three page narrative of a setting in your path. Everything about this world Dana created was captivating and believable for all of its crudeness and fascinating detail.
The plot was well thought out, with many arcs to Tera’s journey, and I loved how none of it seemed rushed, which offered greater credibility to her personal development. And one of the developments I enjoyed observing the most was her aversion to men. And anyone with half a brain would know how big a role Batumar played in her overcoming that.
Because I ADORED Batumar. From his initial appearance and those gentle words of promise that no harm would come to Tera, to his accepting manner of all that was her, to his tenderness shown when a barrier for which he waited so patiently to fold was finally crossed. He has to be one of my favourite male counterparts I’ve read in a while. LOVE him.
Did I mention I love him?
And Batumar aside (you know: that character I kinda crushed on?), the supporting cast and all of their personalities (be them malicious or benevolent) were so full bodied and colourful that I can remember literally each and every one of them by story’s end–which doesn’t often happen for me. Oh yeah, and can we say ‘teary–much’ over that ending? Yeah, I’m a soft, sad sap, I know.
The only reason I knocked the half star rating off–which I pondered over because I was almost a little loathe to do it for a book that captured me so–was because there were a few lulls in the book (not big ones, mind) that slowed the pace down, and I so wanted that pacing to be consistent because for around 98% of the book, it most definitely is.
Thank you so much, Ms Morton, for convincing me that not all fantasy novels are to be shied from. I’ll certainly be checking out any future instalments in Tera & Batumar’s journey if they arrive.
My rating: 4.5 stars
Have you read this title? What’d you think?