18 December, 2012

ARC Book Review: Prophesy by Ellen Oh

Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope...

Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.

Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.

PROPHESY throws the reader directly into the story, with an action-packed beginning that introduces Kira and her world. The beginning also serves to show the reader why Kira is an outcast and considered by some to be a monster, instead of the demon-hunter that she really is. Protecting the royal family of Hansong is her privilege and duty and Kira takes it seriously. Though it is billed as being "heart-stopping", I liked that the plot didn't seem built around high intensity just for the sake of it. There is a good story that Ellen Oh carefully constructs and unfolds to the reader.

Relationships seem very important in PROPHESY. Kira's with the royal family in general, and the prince in particular. Kira's with the rest of her society, and the mythology that is interwoven throughout the novel. It's the last point the really drew my attention. The setting is in an Asian city, with all of the lore and mythology that goes along with that culture. It's engrossing and intriguing, and though I can only guess at the authenticity, I feel that it is much more genuine than some of the other YA books have read this year that attempt to incorporate other cultures.

PROPHESY was a quick read, but definitely not a quickly forgotten read. Oh is adept at revealing and explaining a culture that might be foreign to most American readers. She mixes ancient beauty with a sometimes cruel world and does it well. Not only that, this book has whetted my appetite for more Asian culture reads, and I think that it would do the same for a YA audience looking for a fantasy that has just that little bit of differentness that makes it not so ordinary.

Book Rating:
4 star

This book was provided by the publisher via Around The World ARC Tours, with no other compensation other than the expectation of an honest review

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