Today, I'm going to start getting out some of those book reviews that I am behind on. I have at least 4 that I need to do, and I thought I would start with Cry of Justice by Jason Pratt (444 pgs, Bittersea Publications, 2007).
My wife, my beloved. I promise....I can explain. I can explain where I went. And why....I can explain why I didn't explain when I returned. I didn't explain because I was afraid.
In the aftermath of a horrible international war in the world of Mikon, thousands of refugees have fled the Coastal States and are heading into the Middlelands. Cry of Justice follows a few of those people. A small band of warriors are led by the Maga, Portunista. She is sharp, power-hungry and intent of gaining as much control as she can. Among her subordinates is Seifas, one of the last members of the Guacu-ara, or the Hunting Cry. Born and bred to kill, Seifas fears he is the only remaining Guacu-ara left alive, and has made it his mission to follow Portunista until the end. And then there is Jian, who happens upon the group. It is a mystery who he is or where he comes from. And not everyone trusts him, especially Portunista.
Told in part through journal entries from Portunista, Seifas, and an unknown author, this is the story of how Portunista and her band of warriors happen upon a castle. The castle belonged to Qarfax, an extrememly powerful Cadrist. The castle holds many secrets....secrets that Portunista is desparate to have....as do several other powerful mages. It is this castle and it's secrets that bring upon Portunista's group an epic battle: one that will change things forever.
Cry of Justice is an epic novel, the first of a trilogy. I would definitely classify it as "high fantasy". Maybe it's the fact that I don't read a lot of high fantasy that I found the first part of the book rather confusing. There are a lot of terms and people that I didn't understand, at first. But the story line is good. Very good. And that is what kept me reading.
Portunista is a hard character to nail down. You can tell she wants to be a "good" person, but she is so hell-bent on gaining power it diminishes her ability to distinguish from right and wrong. I wanted to like her. I really did. But her inability to trust in her own feelings made it hard. Just when I start appreciating her intelligence and her passion, she does something stupid....and it makes me mad!
Jian and Seifas are both wonderful characters, as are many of the minor warriors. They are strong, loyal and extremely complex in their nature. Jian has one goal throughout the story...and that is to save Portunista....from the other mages, but most importantly, from herself.
Although a lot of the complex war strategies were lost on me, I found myself reading faster and faster because I had to find out how the final showdown would end. Of course, being the first in a trilogy, the ending is far from over. You can tell that the story, even when the last page has been turned, is only just beginning. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has a love for high fantasy. For anyone else, it might be a bit confusing. Now, it's just a matter of time until Book 2 is released!! 3.75/5