Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Curse of the Shamra by Barry Hoffman

Curse of the ShamraTitle: Curse of the Shamra
Author: Barry Hoffman
Publisher: Edge Books
Release: February 6, 2009
Pages: 325
Series: The Shamra Chronicles #1
THANKS TO CARA OVER AT WUNDERKIND PR!
Synopsis:
ONE GIRL STANDS ALONE, DIFFERENT FROM THE REST.

When the peaceful and isolated land of the Shamra is invaded and its people enslaved, a young Shamra girl named Dara must lead a ragtag resistance to defeat the enemy. But even as she fights the invaders, Dara grapples with self-doubt and is criticized by her own people for being outspoken and different.
Venturing into uncharted territory to seek allies, Dara encounters unusual creatures and dangerous lands. But is her rebellious spirit enough to help her overcome the patriarchal and oppressive rules of her own people and convince them that she is the only hope the Shamra have to regain their freedom?

Review: (SPOILERS BELOW!)
I was recently sent the whole Shamra Chronicles series in the mail. These were some books that I had heard of through another review site and boy was I ever excited to read them! When I dove into the first book, The Curse of the Shamra, I fell in love with all of the settings, characters and themes that the book showed.

One of the major themes in The Curse of the Shamra is that women can do anything that males can do. This theme was broad casted by the protagonist, Dara. Dara was unlike the rest of the females in her society because she did not want to become a house wife and do a man's bidding. Dara wanted to be equal to the males and she wanted to change the stiff customs that said males were superior to females. Ironically, when her people were enslaved, she stepped up to be the leader of the rebellion, which she eventually used to free the rest of her people. I really loved this theme and how great a message it sends to the young women who read the book.

As I said before, Dara was the protagonist of this epic novel. She had outstanding qualities that made her the perfect role model for any young girl. She did, however, have some drawbacks in her character. She could be a little too perfect at times. I found that she made too few mistakes and that she knew things that weren't really possible to know at the time. My personal favorite character of this book was Dara's companion and Bauble, Tyler. Tyler did not let anyone, not even Dara, tell her what to do or how to be. I found it really awesome that both of these characters had such strong traits and determination.

The writing and storyline of this book were unlike any other. The writing was descriptive and informative, setting up the world of the Shamra in a way that very much immersed the reader. The writing of the book definitely was great, and I really fell for it. The story of this novel was great, but it could get a little slow at points. The action made up for the slow points, because these scenes were so amazing.

When all was said and done, I very much enjoyed this amazing novel. I cannot wait to read the second book, but for now Curse of the Shamra by Barry Hoffman gets a 4.5/5 in my opinion.


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