Star of Deliverance by Mandy Madson Voisin
Paperback/eBook, 320 Pages
September 1st 2014 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media
Born a slave and outcast, the young healer Emi discovers an ancient disease spreading among her people. Desperate, she races to the Capital for a cure and unwittingly finds herself in a competition to win over the Crown Prince’s heart. Staying in the game provides time to search for a cure, but it may cost Emi her life—or her heart.
Read an excerpt here
I read Mandy Madson Voisin's delightfully entertaining Star of Deliverance in one sitting. Yesterday. Yes, it was good. Very good. I became enraptured in main character Emi's life and her plight. Based loosely on the Old Testament's story of Esther (the scripture is quoted in the beginning), I enjoyed this clean, sweet and highly engrossing Young Adult fantasy.
Told in first person pov, Emi is a spirited young girl, a hard worker training to be her town's next healer when her adopted father Cen is too old to work. She is passionate about her work, especially when a neighboring young boy collapses outside their door, seriously ill. What is he suffering from? Something old but no longer considered a problem since this illness isn't listed in their medical books. Determined to find a cure and help save her new friend, Maddock's life, Emi decides to go to the King's court to seek out the Royal Healer. What happens next is what kept me glued to the tale.
Mistaken as one of the twenty young Brockan girls chosen to live inside the King's castle for a year until Prince Corban chooses a wife, Emi--who quickly becomes the fictitious Larkin--has to deal with classes on fashion and poise and decorum, all of her weakest subjects. As a Savian, her people are subjected to the cruel treatment of the Royal Guards and looked down upon by the Brockans. Emi only wanted to help find a cure but winds up involved in so much more, including catching the prince's eye. Two of my favorite scenes were the hunt scene and the ball with the closet scene. Her only friend, Jessra, provides companionship and moments of happiness for a conflicted Emi.
Politics, treachery, murderous plots, along with balls, fancy dresses, horse rides, and time spent with a handsome prince, Star of Deliverance is an engrossing fantasy featuring a strong female character and a believable conflict and setting. The pace was steady and I enjoyed the various settings and characters. I love seeing strong-willed young women determined to see their hard work persevere without having to give up a part of themselves or change to gain the affections of another. Watching Emi make her potions and figure out the mystery cure for vox heightened my love for her character. My heart felt for her as she discovers what love is and what some have to do (or give up) in order to do the greater good.
The one thing I will mention is I thought the ending seemed a bit rushed after such a steady pace. Since I was fully engrossed in the book, a few more pages wouldn't have bothered me in the least. I liked the author's style of writing and would read whatever she publishes next. If YA fantasy is a favorite genre, check out Star of Deliverance and let Emi hook you into her fascinating world.
Very pretty but it does remind me of too many other YA covers with pretty girls in pretty dresses.
I received a promotional copy from the publisher. Thanks to Cedar Fort Publishing and Media.
Mandy Voisin is a wife, marketer, and author. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English. Her parents told her she’d never make a living with an English degree, so she’s dedicated the rest of her life to proving them wrong. She loves poetry and babies and her sisters. Mandy currently resides in Phoenix, Ariz., with her husband Kevin who is a sleep deprived medical student with a heart of gold and the world’s best smile. Together they chip away at their dreams.