Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Relic (Books of Eva #1) by Heather Terrell

The truth will test you...

For fans of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games: high fantasy and dystopia meet in this high-stakes tale of a civilization built on lies and the girl who single-handedly brings it down.

When Eva’s twin brother, Eamon, falls to his death just a few months before he is due to participate in The Testing, no one expects Eva to take his place. She’s a Maiden, slated for embroidery classes, curtseys, and soon a prestigious marriage befitting the daughter of an Aerie ruler. But Eva insists on honoring her brother by becoming a Testor. After all, she wouldn’t be the first Maiden to Test, just the first in 150 years.

Eva knows the Testing is no dance class. Gallant Testors train for their entire lives to search icy wastelands for Relics: artifacts of the corrupt civilization that existed before The Healing drowned the world. Out in the Boundary Lands, Eva must rely on every moment of the lightning-quick training she received from Lukas—her servant, a Boundary native, and her closest friend now that Eamon is gone.

But there are threats in The Testing beyond what Lukas could have prepared her for. And no one could have imagined the danger Eva unleashes when she discovers a Relic that shakes the Aerie to its core.

Eva is a teenager in the era after The Healing.  Her brother has been studying for The Testing his entire life.  When he accidentally falls and perishes, Eva just knows she has to take his place and entire.  But secrets lurk.  Secrets Eva never dreamed existed.  Who will be family and who will be foe?  Will Eva survive the testing?  And if she does, will she ever be the same again?
Imagine if you will, a new ice age has swept over the world.  Those that have survived live in a frozen universe with a new book of laws, The Lex.  They know little about their past, other than that The Gods destroyed the rest of the world in The Healing in order to cleanse mankind of evil brought on by Apple. 

 The testing is a way for those entering adulthood to bring back proof that Apple was evil and their way of life is blessed by The Gods.  It's difficult.  Imagine days of frozen tundra with no help.  You can't even speak to the other Testers.  Eva taking part in the ritual is unheard of.  She's a girl, a Maiden, and this is not something they normally would allow.  It's her job to survive as well as to bring back the best relic possible.  She's forced out into the cold for days and then climbs down a steep crevasse to look for 'treasure'.  All along she's having to deal with other testers and climbers and scouts who believe she has no reason to be there and would do anything to send her home packing.
Post-apocalyptic Eskimos.  That's the short version of this book.  It has the makings of being an epic adventure, however.  Terrell's style of writing immediately pulled me in and held me tight.  I couldn't sleep until I'd finished the book.  Now I have to wait for the next!  I've been seriously captivated by Eva.  She's strong, yet pliant.  She's stubborn, yet yielding.  She puts on whatever face she has to in order to get through and get on to the next task. 

 There's a set of rules that have been set forth for her and though she respects them, she knows she has to break them.  Several times, I wondered if she would make it through The Testing.  Eva is such a strongly created character that you can't help but know her and love her.  I look forward to seeing what happens next.  I know it'll be harsh and gritty, but I know Eva will pull it off with grace and surprising skill.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Shawn

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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