The Family: The Brotherhood
By Donte M McNeal

Based in Michigan, Donte's Playground is a blog by Donte M McNeal. His posts range from nonsensical ramblings about anime, in-depth reviews of books and television/film, to random spurts of philosophical babble.

The Rose of Nerine

The Rose of Nerine

So, it's been much too long (I'm doing NanoWriMo), but I wanted to drop a little review for a book that I read earlier in the month. It's Tempering the Rose by Dionne Lister.

Tempering the Rose is a story about a young woman who is plagued with a strong distrust of men, due to the abusive relationship she had with Radnok, her father that she endured growing up. Having been raised as she was, under the iron clad rule and fist of her abusive father, Addy understandably develops a desire to rid the world of the man, but life (and perhaps fate) has different plans for her. She is revealed, much to her revulsion and disbelief, that she is a Shelon, one that is capable of wielding magic, and a quite important one at that, who is to play an integral part in saving the world. Who doesn't love a good ole story of good versus evil, however disbelieving the heroine might be.

Following Addy on her journey with Jacob, a seeker who helped save her after being caught by her father was quite the ride. We see her struggle with letting down her guard around Jacob, due to him being a man. Her distrust of the opposite sex is so strong that Addy constantly seems like she sees men in general as guilty until proven innocent, even if they help save her life. It makes for some awkward and uncomfortable interactions between the two travelers, even though Jacob does nothing but be helpful from the get go. One could argue that Addy 'so distrust is warranted given how often she was used, abused and manipulated by men. Still, to hold everyone to the same standard is a bit unfair, but I think that the past she suffered through awarded her slack.

The further into the story I got, the more I came to respect Addy, and how she continued to plow forward, refusing to give in. Even if her sole reason for pushing on was revenge, her determination and drive is nearly unmatched by any of the other characters, and that's saying something. What, with Radnok's desire for power/domination, Jacob's desire to save the world, and Kerwyn's desire to reunite with his family, topping those desires is quite a feat, and it goes to show just how much she wants her father dead. And her rage and quest for revenge is justified, at least in my opinion; no one should ever have to endure what Addy did, and the scars she carries (be they mental, physical or emotional) will be with her for probably her whole life, but she continues to move forward. Seeing her journey with Jacob and their trusty friend, watching her progress in her attitude towards, however small that progress may be, was a sight to see.

A rich world boasting engaging and complex characters, Tempering the Rose was a great start what I'm sure will be an epic...well epic fantasy series. With all the revelations that went down in this book, I can't wait to see what's next for these characters. Till next time, stay golden Ponyboy!

The Immersive World of "Sunborn Rising"

The Immersive World of "Sunborn Rising"

Spooky Time! A Darker Shade of Sorcery

Spooky Time! A Darker Shade of Sorcery