**** (4) out of 5 stars!
What??? I seriously thought this was a stand-alone book! But apparently there is at least one sequel planned. Since the book ended on a total cliff-hanger -- and a really ambiguous one at that!
This is basically a tale of a young man trying to avenge his family, rescue his presumably kidnapped sister, and along the way try to do what is right. Unfortunately, for him, these things don’t seem to coincide with each other very well! Regardless, he remains brave and steadfast throughout, even when questioning himself, his motives and his options.
The author does a good job of world-building, creating a very believable predominantly meso-American style backdrop for the story. The story-telling is such that you feel aware enough of the workings of the prevailing cultural system to appreciate the atmosphere without being inundated by it.
There are a host of strong characters throughout the story. Some of them I definitely hope will make a return appearance in the sequel; and a few that I want to know more about, including further information about their backstories.
There are connections between characters that unfold as the story progresses that I never would have imagined at the outset. Not to mention surprising plot twists and intrigue from unexpected sources.
One of the only things that I didn’t like in the narrative was the vast amount of bad luck and poor circumstances that befall this kid. And I did find it a bit of a stretch to imagine that he emerged as relatively unscathed as he did from each encounter with all of the forces fighting against him.
But overall it was a great read; a very entertaining story with an encompassing writing style that just draws you into the story and doesn’t let go. I truly can’t wait to read the sequel!
I received a Kindle copy of this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.