If you haven't done so already, I'd love it if you'd answer the poll in the right-hand column. I'm trying to see where else I should post my reviews. Thanks in advance!The Short:The Collar and the Cavvarach
Krillonian Chronicles, Book 1
By: Annie Douglass Lima
What: A slave in the future realizes his only hope of freeing his sister is to become the best martial artist in the empire.
Recommended to those who like: Clean, Teen, Sword Fights, Dystopian, Moral Dilemmas.
I really have to applaud the originality of this book. The elements themselves aren't terribly original--a search for freedom, gladiator-style fighting, slavery, futuristic dystopia--but they're mashed together into a refreshing world.
Bensin is a young slave looking for a way to free his little sister. He's seen the way girls in slavery are treated--and it's even worse than his own fate to wear used sneakers and be whipped whenever his master is displeased. When he's sold and they're separated, the rush is on to free her before anything terrible can happen. His skill with a blade might be the one thing that can free both of them.
I loved Bensin as a character. He's certainly got his own problems, but he's also a person I could look up to. His love for his sister is inspiring.
The action is tense, involving street fighting as well as martial arts tournaments.
The story raises some moral dilemmas involving honesty and owning slaves. I found myself stopping to think at various points, wondering what I would do if put in the same situation.
The book would be appropriate for teens and up. The writing style is simple and straightforward and the content matter is clean. Adults may find the writing style a little too simplistic at times or find the plot predictable in some parts. However, I would still say it's something anyone could enjoy.
The Bottom Line: I would recommend The Collar and the Cavvarach to teens and up who are looking for a fresh story involving martial arts in a dystopian setting.
What was the last book you read that blurred the lines between genres or combined common elements into something new?