Thursday, May 23, 2013
Thaddeus Nowak: Mother's Curse
Title: Mother's Curse
Author: Thaddeus Nowak
Publisher: Mountain Pass Publishing LLC
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Setting: A sort of mix of the fantasy world of Cothel and a medieval castle and country.
Where did you get it? I received a free e-copy of the novel from Novel Publicity for participating in their whirlwind blog tour.
Why did you read it? I'm always looking for something new. This book appealed to me because I've been in a Young Adult/Fantasy/Steampunk kinda mood lately.
From the publisher: Sword Woman, Princess, ... Cursed Witch
Tradition holds that a mother who commits a mortal sin against the gods will be cursed with a daughter born a witch. Stephenie, the youngest princess of Cothel is just such a curse.
Hostage to her mother's will while her father and older brother fight a war two countries away, Stephenie must overcome her mother's plots if she is to save her father, brother, and the many soldiers she trained with.
Fearful of her mother's growing traitorous behavior, Stephenie must escape Antar Castle. But to do so, she might have to rely upon her hidden powers, risking others discovering she is a witch...a risk that would most certainly result in her death by burning.
With the help of a select group of soldiers and an unexpected ally, she just might survive.
What did you think? I'll admit right at the start that I had a hard time getting into this book. It opens with the protagonist, Stephenie, locked in political machinations with her mother and then literally locked in her tower room of her family's castle. Other than the comings and goings in Stephenie's room, there isn't much action. I perservered though and I'm glad that I did.
Nowak pays great attention to setting the scene and the mood in his novels. Once you're pulled into his world, you can't stop reading and want to know what happens next. What's more, Nowak's approach to fantasy is unique. The fantasy genre gets a lot of flack for being formulaic and predictable; you take your prince or princess, throw in some magic and dragons and you have yourself a fantasy novel. Nowak's methods are fresh and it's really hard to tell that this is his first published novel. It's well-fleshed-out and you end up loving the world of Cothel and really caring about the characters and what happens to them.
That being said, I don't think I'd recommend this book for anyone younger than 14 but more like 15 or 16 and older. Nowak is detailed and expressive and some of his descriptions of fights and battles, injuries and casualties are pretty graphic. Other than the younger crowd, I'd recommend this series to veterans looking for a fresh take on the fantasy genre and anyone looking to try something new and different. Mother's Curse was fun and intriguing and leaves you wanting more.