Novel: Sacrificed (The Last Oracle #1) by Emily Wibberley
Published: February 13th 2015 by Patchwork Press – Cooperative
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Rating: 3/5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Synopsis: Born to serve the merciless Oracle, Clio wants nothing more than to break free. But when her entire family is murdered by Mannix, the king’s adviser, Clio inherits the Oracle’s power, a power she never wanted and doesn’t understand. Hunted by Mannix, Clio is forced to flee her home in Sheehan and seek refuge in a foreign city where oracles are forbidden. If she’s found out, she will be sacrificed atop its great pyramid. Clio has no choice but to win the trust of Riece, an enemy warrior. Despite the undeniable attraction between them, Clio knows that if he finds out who she really is, he won’t hesitate to execute her.
Being a big fan of mythology, I am intrigued by any story revolving around an Oracle. As I am writing this, I’m still a bit unsure as to my rating. The main reason is this: I enjoyed reading this book and I sped through it. But there were several aspects I just couldn’t agree with, that hindered my enjoyment a bit.
While I was reading, this never really crossed my mind. Usually, fantasy books need good world building, in my opinion. Otherwise, it’s just too hard to imagine anything about the surroundings of the main character. While I can come up with some characteristics of the world surrounding our Oracle story, I can’t come up with much. Yet somehow it didn’t really bother me while I was reading… It was only afterwards when I asked myself the question, that I noticed the lack of knowledge there.
What I do know is that Clio comes from Sheehan, a city which while being part of the Empire, still is under the rule of its own King. As events unfold, she flees/runs to Morek, in pursuit of a killer and family. Morek is the main city of the Empire (I believe). It is colorful, beautiful and houses a great pyramid inside. Because of the pyramid, I immediately envision an Egypt-like country. I have no clue whether this is accurate.
I think each city also has its own language, as in this novel certain people figured out Clio was from Sheehan by her accent. Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention, but I can’t recall ever reading in which language she communicated most of the time? Maybe I was just so engrossed in the story that I skimmed over those parts.
As I mentioned before, the word that comes to mind here is “engrossing”. I was just sucked into the story and had to keep reading. It’s one of those fast-paced books that holds your attention until you realize you finished it in just a few hours. I read this in one sitting, which obviously means I enjoyed the story line. If I didn’t, I would’ve put it down at some point.
I do feel like the synopsis is too telling. I cut a certain part of the synopsis off, because I feel like the entire synopsis just reveals too much! You’re already quite a bit into the story before the events described in the synopsis happen. Which is kind of spoilery if you think about it.
The fact that this plot is so engaging, fast-paced and fun really “saved” this book for me. It’s the aspect I enjoyed most. And let’s be honest, a well executed plot is very important. It was a fun and quick read to me.
This aspect is where my main issues with the book are situated.
Let me first say that I did enjoy this read. For the most part, Clio is an interesting and fun main character. She is determined, capable and smart. However, as I was reading this something struck me. Can someone be too independent? I believe so, and I’ll write a full discussion post on this soon. What I mean is that I understand wanting to be independent. I do. Providing for yourself is important, and we should all strive to be independent. But there is nothing wrong with accepting help when you need it! Accepting help is NOT a flaw, or something to be ashamed of. You can’t know or be able to do everything. Yet Clio wanted to be SO independent she’d rather do everything herself and fail than to accept someone’s help. It’s ridiculous! You don’t have to do everything. It just annoyed me after a while.
There are several other interesting characters here. Riece, a warrior who lives in Morek. I do admire him. He could admit to being wrong, and adjusted his perception of someone accordingly. In a way, he was stereotyping a type of people, but changed his perceptions when confronted with reality. That is a quality to admire.
Then there is Derik, the prince of Sheehan. I don’t really have an opinion about him, because I barely know ANYTHING about him. I feel like he was just there to further the plot in this book. Maybe he’ll be of more use in book 2? I have no clue.
Here is something you should know about me. I don’t mind a love triangle if it is written well, and there for a reason. This love triangle was neither. First of all, WHY WAS THERE ONE? Clio hasn’t seen Derik in 5 years, so since she was 10. She literally just met Riece. I see no love interests anywhere in those sentences. Yet there they were. It was just there to create some tension in the story, in my opinion. And while I am a lover of romance, I wasn’t completely feeling it here. We’re constantly told how innocent Clio is: she doesn’t know when someone tries to kiss her, she blushes constantly at the faintest trace of flirtation and mentions it several times. I get it. She’s 15.
Like I said, I enjoyed the story-line of this book. It was a fun, quick and fast-paced novel that had me reading until I finished it. Yet I had some problems with the main character’s need for independence, and the “romance” present. I would recommend this book if you’re new to fantasy, or want to read more YA fantasy. The whole Oracle-angle is very interesting, and I haven’t read many books about it.