- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1192 KB
- Print Length: 414 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1909845183
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Kristell Ink, Grimbold Books; 1 edition (31 Aug. 2013)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00EX6BC5O
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #828,624 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Reluctant Prophet Kindle Edition
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The story starts with Ester, a prophet, about to undergo and endurance test to see if she has the right qualities to become a priestess. This procedure, seen through Ester's eyes, seems fair at the time. It is only later one questions if the test is not merely a device to get rid of the candidates already deemed un-useful? Ester is accepted, the only peasant to get this accolade. It is notable her three fellow successes are all of high birth. Ester is full of hope for her future, particularly when she learns she is to go to the capital city temple. Here is another example of great layering as the joy unravels when the scales are removed from her eyes.
Ester is devote and determined to stand by her vows to her gods. Indeed, she has an early indication of what will happen to her if she does not. A chilling warning. She is also strong in spirit, so when the unravelling starts, it holds her together. There are choices to make in her future. They will bring heartbreak, and yet she only has an incomplete picture as her own fate it is never revealed to her.
A very powerful read. Highly recommended.
Pace- The Reluctant Prophet is paced well and easy to read. There are parts that give detailed accounts of Esther's emotions and reactions to her circumstance that may feel slow to some people, but these are important for the emotional attachment that develops between the reader and Esther.
World Building- The world is certainly detailed enough to be believable. It's clear there could have been a lot more detail, but the balance of just enough detail was important for this story as too much would have suffocated Esther's story. We see the world as Esther sees it, on her journey, and this is important. The places, events, reactions and social structure were all portrayed well.
Characters- Esther is a very normal character in her personality, acting and reacting the way most good people would in her position. However, it is the extraordinary events that surround her that make her interesting, and the pains she goes through are what make the reader care for her. This is done very well. I really did care for her.
A few of the other characters are interesting, but as this is Esther's story, and from her point of view, I didn't really become too attached, or feel invested, in any of the other characters.
Originality- This story did have a few parts that felt original. I think the way the story is all put together is very well done and there is plenty in it to make it feel fresh and new.
Last thoughts- I really enjoyed the perspective of prophecy and the way the future was seen. It was simple and to the point. Often Prophecy is over complicated in stories, but it was easy to understand how it worked in the Reluctant Prophet. It is a great skill to turn something that is complex and make it easy to understand. This was done very well.
Overall this is a great story that is easy to follow, very interesting and certainly pulls at the heart strings.
Esther lives in a harsh world, and it seems the world and its malevolent gods are out to get her. Her gift is both a blessing and a curse, especially when it shows her divergent futures, and reveals that the future of the world hinges on the terrible choices she must make. Gillian O'Rourke's gift is that she really makes us feel for Esther, swamped beneath a relentless barrage of suffering, unable to escape her god-dictated fate no matter how she twists and turns. Yet still she remains strong in spirit and good of heart, under punishments that would have broken many characters, and the reader is rooting for her on every step of her difficult journey.
The book deals with some serious themes; religious oppression, class conflict, and the corruption brought about by the all-consuming desire for power, in the form of cold-hearted Superior Mirren and her guardian, the bully Placida, who look down on Esther as a peasant and seek to use her unique gifts to further both their own ambitions and those of the callous trio of Goddesses. How Esther rises about their machinations to find some sort of peace and freedom, even at the cost of a great sacrifice she must make, is to be celebrated. Much of the theme deals with the conflicts brought about by having both free will, and the ability to see where that free will can lead - in this case to war and heartbreak if Esther doesn't make the most difficult choice of her life.
It's a masterful piece of thought-provoking writing. Recommended.
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