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Lissa's Review: Steel Maiden (Divided Realms #1) by Kim Richardson

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Publisher: Riverbend Press

Released: August 31st 2015

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Length: 180 pages

Format: eBook

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In a land where magic is banned and where cruel High priests rule, Elena steals the most valuable jewel in the Empire in the hopes to sell it and start a new life. But she is caught, and the punishment for stealing is death. And yet in that moment she is given a choice—death or to become one of the High priests' champions in The Great Race. Elena is catapulted without warning into the bloodiest race in all the realms, forced to compete with a man she hates while she develops a growing passion for another. She struggles to understand her special skills, her mysterious healing powers that she must keep secret. Within a world built on a religious sect and dangerous secrets, she becomes a woman torn between obligation and desire, between a man she supposedly hates and another. As Elena comes to terms with her own secret, she discovers the truth behind the race and must stop the ancient, wicked evil that threatens all living things before it's too late.

Five Boundless Stars

Elena is a young woman who is from the pit. Taken care of by Rose, who was sworn to protect her, after her mother had died. There's something about Elena, that she can't even grasp. She knows how to throw with high accuracy and hand to hand combat comes easy. Though, she has never been trained.

Elena makes a decision to go after a crown. One that could help her and Rose get of the pit. No longer have to starve and live in filth. They fear the high priests, who have taken over all the kingdoms. Outlawing magic, saying it's evil. But as the story goes on you wonder about the High Priests. And what evil magic lies within them.

After Elena steals the crown for Mad Jack. She is taken to the one place, she never wanted to go. But they are giving her a chance and sending her on a Race for a stone that could change everything.

This book is not for the weak. It's creepy at times and Full of what could be demons, itching for your soul. The story has a richness and its not a normal read for me. But I caught on from the first page and was able to read within a day.

I really connected with Elena, a strong woman in a world, where women are considered weak. I had to laugh a little, at the way these people really thought of women. I'm pretty sure childbirth would take them down.

Even at the times she feels, that she won't win. She still has confidence. I loved Mad Jack as well, a character that you're not really sure about but obviously theres more of him to share.

Overall this is a strong story for its genre. With a lot of purpose. I can't wait to read book #2 in the series.

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