Title: The Emblazoned Red
Author: Dawn McCullough-White
Number of Pages: 238
Once, in another world—a dark world, the world of Faetta—there lived paladins and pirates, tyrants and scallywags, vampires and the undead. In this world a revolution is brewing. The royalty of Sieunes are in chains, and those priests and paladins who follow the holy word of the gods are under attack. In the west, the kingdom of Kellerhald receives the fleeing priests in their temples of the paladins of Silvius, god of the Sky.
Here, a young woman has just passed her tests to become a paladin. A pirate crew raids along the Azez Sea. An undead creature, wielding great power, roams the graveyard of Yetta. And a lost soul, crying out from beyond the veil, seeks out a pure hearted warrior to hear its plea.
Amid the turmoil of the revolution, Ilka’s mettle is tested. Rescued by pirates, she ends up with an unlikely ally: the pirate captain himself. The newly trained paladin finds herself collaborating with the undead, working with a vampire, and worst of all, longing for revenge against the man who has ignited the revolution in Sieunes: Francois Mond…
Death of an Innocent. Rise of a Paladin.
Ok, I don’t even know where to start. I literary just finished it half an hour ago and I simply loved it. You know those romance novels with pirates and princess and on the cover there is a handsome guy with long hair? It felt like it, but The Emblazoned Red wasn’t exactly a romance novel. I mean, it had a love story, but it wasn’t the central point of the book, it was more than that.
The Emblazoned Red was a beautiful story, somewhere between a fairytale, a fantasy with little pieces of history. Ilka is a brave paladin, dealing with a recent loss and newly found feelings she thinks are not suitable for various reasons. She is smart and knows exactly what she wants and I was surprised to see how independent she was giving the fact that she was in fact a princess. Ilka is actually the opposite of every female character in most of the YA novels. She doesn’t need to be saved because she is usually the one doing the saving, she doesn’t fall into temptation without overthinking the possible consequences. She is not perfect, but she acts in a way she brings realism to the story.
I did not expect so many supernatural creatures though. In any other circumstances it might have been too much, but even if here seemed to be too many elements, like zombies, vampires, paladins and pirates, the story was not heavy with them.
The love story did come all of a sudden though. I knew that there was some kind of chemistry between the characters, but until it actually happened I couldn’t see it.
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