Monday, May 1, 2017

REVIEW: The Captivity of Choice (Broken Throne, #1) / William R. Herr

Title: The Captivity of Choice (Broken Throne, #1) 
Author: William R. Herr
Publisher: Mechanicsburg Press
Available on Amazon

Fantasy - Dark Fantasy

In the William R. Herr's haunting sequel to From a Broken Land (Broken Throne, #1), princess-turned-military-lieutenant Kira struggles to find her place in a world of men. Since running away from an unwanted marriage, she has found a new life and earned the title of Tenant... but the past won't leave her alone so easily. Meanwhile, she's fallen in love with Gidon, her commander - who doesn't know if he can trust those within his own ranks. And on the other side of the land, a man named Malechi, declared a prophet, leads a city in religious rebellion. Herr's spellbinding fantasy novel brings all these characters careening toward an unexpected and fate-changing conclusion.

In The Captivity of Choice, Herr has woven more detail into the already-rich fabric of the complex world-building he set up in the first book. If you think you've seen it all in Book 1, just wait until you see what's in store in the sequel. The book features several elements of classic fantasy - kingdoms, magic, destinies, knights - but mixes in an element of horror in the darkness. I really enjoyed this darker flavor of fantasy, which really comes to life through Herr's lush and haunting descriptions of the world... and the mist.

The Captivity of Choice, as its title implies, is ultimately a story about how characters' decisions drive their destinies... which, in this world, sends them down the path to the eye-popping conclusion. There's honor, religions fanaticism, romance, combat, magic, trickery... There's so much going on in this book, and yet it never felt like too much. I really enjoyed reading this - would have gotten through it a lot faster if I hadn't been so busy last month that the only time I had to read was on the train. My favorite character was (unsurprisingly) Kira, who's gone from damsel-in-distress to strong heroine who can outsmart the best on the battlefield. Yet she's not all-powerful, and ultimately, the forces of fate are too powerful for any individual to battle.

The ending leaves plenty of room for a sequel, and I hope I get to read one soon!

ABOUT THE AUTHORVisionaries, migrants, soldiers, and thieves-Will, as his friends call him, surrounds himself with all of these, and
more. Obsessed with "the wisdom of the lowest classes," he views the world as a perennial outsider, in the company of men and women most would not want to meet in a dark alley. His work reflects this, as he winds dramatic irony and sarcasm together with romance and drama to paint a picture of the world that others prefer not to see.

William R. Herr was raised on the road, and continues to live there. When not travelling the United States behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer, he can be found in Central Pennsylvania, either writing, editing, or arguing with college students over hot cups of coffee.

He lives with his wife and an extremely vocal Irish Stafford-shire Terrier named "The Duke."

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