Sara's Review: The Squire and the Slave Master by Eric Price
Author Provided Copy
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Released: November 26, 2015
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Length: 175 pages
The award winning Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud (CLC’s Best First Novel 2014) chronicled Yara, Owen, and Cedric’s quest to revive King Kendrick from a dark, magical spell. After the adventure to save King Kendrick, Yara's everyday life has grown monotonous. The dull work of learning her father’s blacksmithing trade and the pressure from her parents to decide what she plans on doing with her life has her nerves too stressed. Lucky for her, a surprise messenger from the castle brings the king’s request. She's to join a collaborative mission between the Central and Western Domains of Wittatun to stop a recently discovered slave operation in a land to the west. It's imperative she keep secret not only her magical abilities from any possible traitors, but also her gender. The people of the Western Domain have a superstition prohibiting girls from sailing. But a chill wind carries the distinct odor of sabotage. Can one girl survive to destroy an evil rooted much deeper than mere slavery?
Three Boundless Stars
I was provided a copy of The Squire and the Slave Master in exchange for an honest review.
In The Squire and the Slave Master, we follow Yara on a quest to stop a slave operation. Due to the type of mission; and where she is going, Yara must disguise herself as a young squire (a boy). Like Unveiling the Wizards Shroud, book one in this series The Squire and the Slave Master, is full of adventure, danger, and above all, magic. I will note; you can read The Squire and the Slave Master without reading book one, there is enough backstory given to where you are caught up, without feeling lost. However; if you go back and read Unveiling the Wizards Shroud, you’ll find it well worth it!
I was surprised with some of the subject matter touched on. I found The Squire and The Slave Master to be darker than its predecessor. There is an attempted rape by multiple men that Yara fights off with magic. I will give it to Eric; the scene was not graphic, and is YA friendly. It just surprised me. I wasn’t expecting that in a YA novel. I would definitely say this gets a PG13 label in my mind.
It was strange how Yara processed what happened with the lives lost at her hands; especially those on the ship. It was like she didn’t process it at all, and just brushed it aside. Yes, it should make her stronger, but she just moves on too quickly, and the only emotion she does express is anger. Where’s the guilt, remorse, and sadness? It’s like there is a disconnect between being a YA book, and being a more mature YA book; there was no processing emotions just, going from one experience to the next. One minute she is almost raped, the next she is meeting mermaids, with no grieving time in-between. This is where the story lost me. I think if she had grieved, and acted more believable, I would have stayed engaged with the story. I do realize it is a YA story, so not too much time wants to be spent on the darker subject matters. However, once it’s brought into play, I think it should be taken to the conclusion, and show that you don’t just walk away from things like that without repercussions.
Moving forward with this series, it will improve the development of the characters, to allow them the emotion warranted when needed. As Yara stands; she is pretty two dimensional, but has the capacity for so much more, I have faith in Eric Price to make her so much better in the next novel. Don’t make her a crying sniveling mess, just give her something other than indifference and anger