Expected publication: May 10th 2020
Everybody Lies, Cheats and Steals!
This was such a great surprise that I was completely blown away. So much happened in this book and not one bit was predictable and everything in it was completely different from everything I have ever read before. I liked that it followed a kind of standard fantasy format of a journey that the main characters were on where they were not all necessarily friends but they had to fight together and they became the people the each other needed to rely on to survive.
Another thing I liked about this was the recurring theme of “everybody lies, cheats, and steals”. The main character and heroine, Sarilla, says that over and over. Sarilla is a Memoria, or at least a half breed and she was born at the palace. The King, Renford, has been using her and he family as his father did before him to root out traitors because Memoria’s can take people’s memories by touching them and tell the king what is in the memories. He uses that to find traitors and execute them.
Most people, including Sarilla think that makes them monsters. The King considers Sarilla his pet and both loves her and hates her. He has made her hate herself as well. The book begins with Sarilla and her brother on the run after escaping the palace and are on their way to meet their father and younger sister in a town called Arvendon, after her mother has died from taking too many memories and going crazy. However, Sarilla and her brother Rysen get separated and Rysen is caught by the King and his men. So Sarilla heads toward Arvendon to try to free him.
Sarilla meets up with three men traveling to the palace who know who she is and take her hostage. Sarilla is not happy about this because she knows two of the men. One is Falon, a man she was in love with who had some of his memories taken from him and knows who she is, but does not remember her. Another is his best friend Cedral, and the third is a new friend of theirs from Arvendon named Havrick.
They think she is a monster but take her with because she is the King’s favorite pet and they know they will be able to bargain with the King for her. As usual with any fantasy adventure there are many perils along the way as well as things they find out about each other and themselves. The biggest thing I liked was who really is the monster in the story. There are so many. Everybody thinks it is Sarilla and the Memoria, which it is in a way. She even thinks she is a monster.
The Memoria people definitely are, but they sort of have a reason to be. The King is definitely one of the worst, but then he is trying to defend his people as well. The traitors are as well, but they are trying to get the King to stop focusing on his own people and start defending them against the real threat. And there are others as well. In the end there is a romance and a love story that as all the feels, and made me cry like a baby a few times. I actually loved it so much more than I thought I would. Kudos to Rachel Emma Shaw!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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