Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book Review: Star of Justice

Today's book review is Star of Justice, by Robynn Tolbert.

From the "Back of the book":

"She joined the knighthood for the scholarship program...

A thwarted assassination attempt drags Caissa Ocren into a secret war between elemental spirits and dragon worshipers. More accustomed to solving puzzles than wielding swords, she undergoes a crash course in survival from a mercenary minstrel, a shape-shifting druid, and a legendary spirit warrior.

An ancient book may hold the answers she seeks, but understanding requires the memories of a wizard. With time against her, Caissa faces the hardest lesson of all: how to serve when the cost is her life."

First, a note about some other reviews. Some other reviews have said they don't like the cover, or the description. I'd agree with those, though not perhaps to the extent that others have said... I've known about this books existence for about two years, and it hasn't made it to the top of my "to be read" pile, for the reasons cited. Last week, I read a review that compared it to Anne McCaffery's "Pern" series. Now, Pern is about my favorite fiction of all time, so I picked up a copy of Star of Justice based on just that review. (After reading the series, I wouldn't say it's the same as Pern, but it does share one common plot point... namely that it's a sci-fi book that feels like fantasy.)

Anyway, from word one I couldn't put the book down (metaphorically speaking; I still had to do dumb stuff like sleep, eat, and *grumble* go to work...)

The "back of the book" doesn't begin to do the characters justice.

Caissa (The author insists it's pronounced "Ca - Shay", which I don't get...) Ocren is a knight... who is covered in ink stains, loves research, and doesn't like to draw her sword... She also has no magic in a land where almost everyone does.

Merritt MacEwan is a minstrel... or so he says. A "minstrel" who carries a giant, cursed sword, no instruments, and is drunk more than he's sober. He's thoroughly a barbarian, and won't stop tagging along behind Caissa... no matter how much she wants to be rid of him. (Favorite line: "I'm a barbarian, na a idiot!" Followed closely by: "But look, my whole head fits in the bowl!")

Raven is a druid... kind of. Half human, and half druid, most of the time Raven looks like a young woman who spends WAY too much time alone in the forest. She's a fascinating character. Really stoic, very competent, and perhaps a tad too literal.

Lots of other fun characters too. The book was a fun, fast read. I want another story in this world.

Five stars!