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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Very strong 4 stars. Historical Fiction: At Road's End by @ZoeSaadia


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At Road's End

(Pre-Aztec Series, Book 1)

By Zoe Saadia


Genre: Historical Fiction


Book Synopsis

Tecpatl was born a warrior, one of the elite class of fighters, defending his great city, capturing vanquished foes to sacrifice for the honor of the gods.

He never wished to follow the ancient road into the Southwestern desert; but he had no choice.

When he rescues a girl from the ransacked village, he thinks nothing of it. He just wishes to make the traders sell their goods in a hurry, so he could return to his homeland.

But the fate had planned differently, for the warrior and for the girl alike.

Mark's Rating





Mark's Review


I don't necessarily like long-winded historical fiction. I fall asleep in the long, descriptive passages. At Road's End did not pose this problem. None of the descriptions were incredibly long, and the plot actually helped the historic perspective. The interaction between the two main characters, who were from two different cultures, provided historical details through conversation. Since both of their cultures would be foreign to most people today, the conversations between them often made me think and consider the story outside my own perspective.

I really wanted to give it 5 stars, but it fell short in two areas. First, there was the occasional copy edit oops or awkward adverb, but since I've read traditionally published novels that suffer the same or worse, this one thing wouldn't have lowered the rating by itself. After all, even a professional editor can miss things on occasion.

Combine the above with one other thing, and I didn't feel it was worth 5 stars—instead, a very strong 4 stars. When the author contacted me, she asked which book of hers I would like to read. Knowing that she had several novels set in ancient times, I told her that starting at the beginning chronologically would probably be best.

And here's where the problem lies: I didn't get the strong feeling I was reading the beginning of a series. For example, make some minor changes, and this book could easily be a standalone. There wasn't much of a cliffhanger, and the only reason I want to read the next one is because of what the author wrote in the Afterword, describing the historical aspect of the novel, which was only touched on slightly during the actual prose, at least from my perspective.

In other words, the story is missing the strong hook I would expect after reading the Afterword, and based upon the synopsis of the following book, my guess is the events of the Afterword haven't actually taken place in the story yet, which is why I want to continue reading.

Review Disclaimer: This book was provided free of charge by either the author or publisher. There was no financial gain in regards to this review, and the opinions presented above were not artificially influenced in any way.

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