4 out of 5 Stars
“Don’t trust anyone. We’re all influencers one way or another, aren’t we? Make up your own mind Catling, and mind yourself.”
What if, in a world of political unrest, you had no choice to obey? What if there were people who could control your very emotion to their bidding, who could use this “influence” even on the King himself to the point where the people don’t know who’s running the show.. and they possibly don’t care.
This is the world that Catling lives in. Society is broken into classes, with the poorest at the bottom tier and the rich at the top. The land is no longer shared, the land that was once free has been taken to own.
“In all three settlements, Ellegeans have extended their territory, built new walls, severed migration routes, cut forests, and damned rivers. The Farlanders have no rights within the settlements, and formal protests have made no difference. Our relationships are in shambles.”
The descriptions of the Civil unrest in this novel may strike close to home with our own situations, both in our present and our past, and was beautifully unfolded during the story.
“The mark on her eye looks like a rose. A little piece missing on a petal, but a rose, don’t you think?”
She discovers that, when looking through her “birth-marked” eye, she can see the work of the influencers and cut those strings to shield people from being blinded by their surroundings.
“The horror of the three bodies flooded her heart. She sank to the ground by the pigling’s fence and rested her head on her knees, breathing back a desire to retch. “Are you feeling sick from the sweets?” Whitt asked. “No.” She peered up and pointed across the market. “It’s that.” The look on his face told her nothing, his feelings pilfered, his smile hollow. She shifted her shield, cutting him free of the influencers’ touch. Whitt staggered backward, gasping. His gaze darted across the market in confusion before he stumbled behind the wagon and fell to his knees. Choking sobs blended with the hanging-day din.”
This, she learns quickly, is both a blessing and a curse. As she must hide who she is and keep out of the hands of those who wish to use her, or kill her so she can’t use her power.
“What you felt isn’t real, remember that. You can’t trust them, Catling; you can’t trust your feelings. Never forget that.”
This book was so fantastic! The characters were amazing. I’d like to give special notice to Tiler, the foul-mouthed Enforcer, who has a “Mouth full of butt nuggets, heart of gold” and I absolutely LOVED!
“Sodding cockthistles, Gan.” Tiler rested a hand on Catling’s shoulder. “Don’t scare us to death.”
“You’re a damn shaft-slapper, Gan,” Tiler shouted while Nial and two other guards restrained him. “Let me go, you bung-loving asspipes!”
But, all of the characters were wonderfully written and made you love them… which at times could lead to pain and heartache on the part of this reader. I will tell you right now, this story was very unexpected and could get very dark and sad on the turn of a dime, so be prepared for a very crazy ride!
If I had to talk about why it only got 4 stars and not 5, I will say that it is very definitely written with a series in mind, so there is a lot of talk of the political situations, the lay out of the lands, and the history of the people’s in general. It’s a lot to take in. But, it was painted very beautifully and I know it will lead to a very detailed thrilling conclusion! I can’t wait to find out what happens with Catling, Whitt and Gannon!
I can’t say enough about this book!!
I will stop here so I don’t bore you all to death, but just know that I had about 30 more quotes that I really wanted to squeeze in to this review. So, read the book!
I had a write up about D. Wallace Peach for you all, but I know she’s a bit of an introvert (a woman after my own heart) so, I will spare you the names of her children and dog and just say that she is a fantastic person and a fantastic writer. I you would like to know more about her and her work, please check her out at
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8
Catling’s Bane is Best Served With
A Rose Cocktail
So, in honour of Catling’s birthmark, I had to go with a Rose Cocktail… and because of the fact that there are so many variations on this cocktail, I actually made 2 different versions of it!
The English Rose
- 1 1/2 ounces gin
- 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
- 1/2 ounce cherry Brandy or Kirsch
- Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
- Shake well.
- Strain into a chilled martini glass
The Rose Cocktail
- 1/2 oz Kirsch
- 1 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
- 3 Dashes of Maraschino cherry syrup or strawberry syrup
- Maraschino Cherry for garnish
- Same as cocktail above
- Garnish with Cherry