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March 31, 2017

Review: A Rose in the Desert by Louis Piechota

by MK French

February 2014; ebook (264 pages); YA fantasy
Ethyrin is the young nephew of the ruling king but would be considered the rightful ruler by many. As a result, he's advised to travel to a new land to escape persecution. While there, he is still threatened, kidnapped, and nearly sold into slavery. However, he had visions of Nuara, and the two escape with the aid of those working to free slaves. Ethyrin hopes to survive the dangers of traveling across the unknown land, but Nuara hopes to return to the land of her birth. It's a long way, especially without provisions or allies, but it's the only goal they have.

This book has the feeling like the start of a series. Ethyrin's homeland and its dangers are outlined in detail, but then he's thrust into an entirely new landscape. The machinations within the slaveholders' lands give a feeling of impending dread, and the narrative focuses tightly on Ethyrin and Nuara. It adds to the claustrophobic feeling within the text, even as they cross a vast desert. They are the only ones they can rely on, and Ethyrin is lost and out of place. Even so, he struggles to do the right thing and aid Nuara as he promised, even at risk to himself.

The book has very spare language and descriptions but feels very much like it could be a sprawling, epic series. The issue with Ethyrin's uncle isn't solved, after all, and there are teases of a larger conflict at hand. Still, it was good to see Ethyrin start to grow up, and for Nuara to start coming out of her prickly shell. If there are more books in the series, they'll hopefully be just as enjoyable a read.

Buy A Rose in the Desert at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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