- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 150 KB
- Print Length: 48 pages
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006WQM2NE
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #943,196 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Word and Deed Kindle Edition
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Overall, I was very pleased with this short story. It rather reminded me of traditional tales, with the pretty girl locked in a tower, and paid homage to traditional ideas, beliefs and values such as chivalry, honour and true love.
Yet there was a contemporary spin, as the heroine was said to be able to use a sword. She was also strong-minded and intelligent enough to cater to modern tastes- but (and this is something I apprecaite), was not some stuck up feminist superhero. She used her brains, but was not adverse to accepting help from men, and whilst being headstrong, was also vulnerable, and her outspokeness nearly lands her in very hot water.
I also appreciated the nice, refreshing twist on the usual cliched 'forced marriage' story. I confess, I don't have a lot of time for tales like that the annoy me, as do the attendent myths and historical inaccuracies. As this was historical fantasy, the author could have gone along the typical route, ignoring the ban on forced marriage in he actual, historical Medieval past- yet she did not.
I don't want to give away too much of the ending but lets just say that the chosen husband is not as bad as is initially thought, and certainly does not meet the arranged marriage stereotype of horrible and abusive.
Rather he fitted in well with the over-arching theme which (I think) was about not judging people by appearances, or by what others say about them. That there may be a lot more below the surface- hence the clever title- Word and Deed. I personally guessed one of the main plot twists quite early on, but that did not really detract from my enjoyment of this story.
My only complaints were a few typos in the story which sadly slipped through the editing process, and some of the content, which might make the story more approporate for older readers, and not a YA audience. Overall though, I consider it £1 well spent.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Plot - Grade B+
I enjoyed the plot. It was simple and straightforward in a couple areas to the point where it was really easy to guess the ending. However, short stories tend to be predictable due to the restricted amount of plot twists and layers. What I really like is that there is a whole story contained within the 48 pages. The ending resolves the pertinent matters while allowing the reader to imagine a pleasant future.
Content - Grade A-
This was a clean read. There is some violence occurring on the page, though. There are attempted murders, a successful murder in the past, as well as beatings.
The sensuality was handled delicately. There are references to bedding and sharing a bed. There are also references to men staring lecherously at a woman. There is also conflict for Verity as she starts to fall for a man who is not her betrothed. I do wish that had been explored a little more.
There is one use of true language where Verdon calls Verity's betrothed a "bastard." I could have lived without it but other readers might not even bat an eyelash. The good thing is that it only occurred the once near the end.
Spiritually, the book was on the lighter end. There's not much beyond prayer. However, it worked for the length of the story. I did like how the conflict of emotions for Verity was handled as she struggles to match rumor of her betrothed with the report given to her by a soldier who knows him as well as can be because she wants to hate him but his reputation makes it difficult, which in turn makes her situation feel more difficult to resign herself too. I also liked how Verity was spirited but she didn't feel anachronistic like a 21st-century woman wearing a medieval costume.
Technical - Grade A-
There were two or three places where a word was missing but they were articles so it didn't significantly change the meaning of the sentence. I liked the nuances of the language used. 'Maid' was substituted for 'Lady' and I thought it was interesting choice but it added a bit of unique flavor to the world Rossano created. The story is described as being "loosely set in the middle ages" and it definitely follows through on that. You can tell that it is medieval but the setting is ambiguous enough that you don't know whether it's England or France or another kingdom. There's no clear tie to Catholicism either so one can easily imagine this story as taking place in one of Rossano's fantasy worlds. If the story had been longer, I definitely would have liked to see more definition in regards to the setting. But the ambiguity works for this short story.
My biggest complaint is that I do wish there had been more and we could have gotten to know the characters more as well as see what else happened in their lives.
Final Grade - A- or 4.7 Stars
Overall, I liked the story. It's a good quick read that doesn't feel like you're missing most of the real story. It's the sort of story that could have been a novel but it's complete and self-contained as is. I would recommend this story for fans of Rachel Rossano's other works and for those who enjoy medieval-esque romances and a quick but satisfying read. Recommended for ages 15 and up.
Sensitive readers warning: None. There's no language, no graphic violence, and no graphic sex.
In case it matters to you: I know the author; she happens to be a good reading/writing/cover designing buddy of mine. So I got to read this before it came out and I liked it so much that I bought it. And no, I do not buy all the books written by my friends, just so you know. I'm too poor (i.e., cheap) for that.
That said, I loved it! It was sweet, gritty, fast-paced, and impossible to put down. Though there's no clear indication of time period or setting, it was not hard picturing a Medieval setting for this story.
My only complaint is I would have LOVED for it to be longer, with more tension (not that there isn't any--there DEFINITELY is), more mystery, just more, more, MORE! Ms Rossano does a good job of character-building despite the short length, so I have no complaints in that area. I just would have loved to spend more time with these characters.
Disclaimer: I purchased this book from Amazon. I was not paid in any way for my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
What is good about this novella? So much. There is a great cast of characters, a solid story with a grand plot. There are details that so many when writing a short story, tend to think are unimportant and let slip away. Rossano doesn't do this, she packs her punch solidly and seriously leaves you wishing this was a full length novel. I seriously wanted to get to know the characters even better, and go into more of the back story, but understand that as an author you do what you can with a story and sometimes you reach a point where stopping is the best thing you can do. Trust me, as a freelance writer myself and aspiring author... many a time I've gone overboard, while other times I have left things incomplete. Ultimately Rossano does neither with this work.
The only fault I had with this story... and maybe it is petty, but I felt that one aspect of the storyline was an oft overused ploy within fiction, historical or contemporary. I do not want to say what it is as it is also an integral part of this story, but it nagged at me. I remember the same tactic used numerous times by authors such as Kathleen Woodiwiss.
Regardless, my advice - read this story. I also know that I have other works by Rossano on my to-be-read stack.
As I mentioned, it was a fast read. I read it all through almost in one sitting. Thoroughly entertaining and quite sweet, with a dash of chill and evil plots, it was definitely worth it! :)
It was a clean read, though the romance would call for about 16 and up; and there was no overmuch violence.
I greatly look forward to reading more by Rachel Rossano!