Review by Jane, From the Herald’s Wearied Eye by Jessica McHugh
From the grim prison of Malay, the renegade Shal plots her revenge.
Once the daughter of a proud monarch, her life has been destroyed by the
craven despot Rojer Doa. But Shal answers to a greater destiny that
calls her to the amarinthine door and an inevitable meeting with the
Capesman, the dark figure who shadows every deed in a cold and forbidding world. A reckoning is coming and Shal will be it's master, or she will lose her soul trying.
Shal considered herself protector of the weak and did whatever she had
to in order to succeed in her self appointed task. She became so intent
of revenge over her step fathers ill treatment of people, especially her
family that she lost sight and became bitter and unable to love. She
was blinded by anger to the point where she was a fool to herself, not
really thinking things through before she did them or realising that her
actions had consequences for other people as well as herself.
became quite angry at the character at some points, wanting to scream
at her to just stop for a minute and think. I suppose the abuse she had
suffered at Doa’s hands and the deaths of so many of her loved ones was
actually to blame for her blind rage so perhaps I should have pitied her
more than I did.
The story did put me in mind of another
Jessica McHugh book, ‘Rabbits in the garden’. Although the stories were
different there were similarities,…the main character was a girl, locked
away in an abusive prison/institution some of the abuse that goes on in
these places is quite imaginative and not very nice……….Where do these
ideas come from???!!!
I think what fascinates me about JM’s
books is the variety, and the strangeness of them, there’s no way to
predict the out come, she invents all kinds of different species and
worlds that you have nothing in your memory bank to apply to them so
can’t imagine what could possibly come next.
As usual I have
been left with things to think about, there was a definite moral to this
story, and it was nice to see that Shal did infact find peace even
though it was not in the way I could ever have foreseen.