Saturday, March 8, 2014

First Light

About the book:
On the harsh militant world of Sindorus, where even colours are considered sinful, three people living very separate lives are about to have those lives change forever. As deceptions are torn away, and ancient secrets brought to light, they each must struggle to find the missing pieces to the puzzle...answers that will unlock their true destiny.

Idrith, bitter and trapped in a life he never chose, is the first to discover his own fear-filled mystery. Obsessed with finding the truth behind the lies he turns to the one person he has always tried to avoid -- the mysterious pilgrim, Harmion.

Aztar's military promotion comes with an unexpected burden. A serious problem threatens the security of the entire Northerner regime and it seems that their only hope may lie in the hands of someone he was raised to think of as his enemy and inferior. Each day they struggle together to find a solution, but at night Aztar struggles alone as the secret he's kept hidden since childhood returns to torment him.

In a world where most women have no control over their lives Daen was allowed to grow up unrestricted and far better educated than normal. Now her father's health is failing and the running of their family estate lies in her hands...and with it the security of everyone she loves. Knowing that desperate situations call for courageous action, Daen is about to take a step that will change all their lives forever.

Find the book: Amazon   Goodreads   Shelfari

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Books with settings in other worlds have so much potential. I decided to read this one because of how colours were/are a bad thing. How can this be? Aren't colours all around us? I was intrigued. I just hoped that the author could write a satisfying story about it. To my delight, the plot was well thought out and it was very believable. I loved how the characters shifted how they saw the world when any illegal colours were brought into their lives. It was as if they went from seeing a tree in black and white to actually seeing it as various shades of greens and browns.

In Frost's world, owning anything colorful can land you in serious trouble. For example, pictures in your home can be pencil or charcoal sketches, but a colorful painting of a bowl of fruit is illegal. But you're not limited to just paintings. Colorful outfits and even stained glass are illegal. If you're caught with any sort of coloured item, you could do some serious jail time, or even be sentenced to death. Why is this? Because colour can corrupt the mind.

Setting up the story takes time so be patient in the beginning. Frost has to introduce readers to each main character and explain their back stories. Then Frost begins weaving in the seemingly innocent pieces of the plot that will be tied together in the end. First Light is a complex story that is well written and executed. This is made more impressive by the fact that this is Frost's first book.

There are three main characters, and four other characters that are all tied together. The three main characters--Idrith, Daen, and Aztar--each have parts of the story told through their point of view since they live in different areas of Sindorous. This was a great decision by Frost. They each interact with Harmion who helps move the story along. In fact, readers will hate Harmion for his actions. There is a reason for what he does though, and by the end of the book, his betrayal makes sense.

The book tells a complete story, but leaves certain threads undone so readers will want to pick up the second book. It should be interesting to see what the group of characters with their special talents can do when the act together to change things in Sindorous.

A special note to potential readers, don't judge this book by it's cover. Yes, I'm one of those people who sometimes selects books because of the cover (and the synopsis), but definitely don't skip over this one. Pick it up and read it.

The writing style is easy to read. Middle graders can easily read this, but the plot is so complex that I recommend it for teens and adults. It can easily be a family book. There's symbolism in the book and of course, some mystery.

About author Michelle Frost:
MICHELLE FROST has written everything from reviews on mustard and shampoo to horoscopes and an astrology advice column for a small South African newspaper. She won second prize in the Klein Karoo Arts festival, 2001, for a short story later published in the book e-rupsie/e-ruption.Michelle has had other short stories and poems published in various publications and countries. This is her first book

Find Michelle: Website   Goodreads

She has Profiles on Goodreads, bookblogs and shelfari.