Title: Pawn of Mine
Author: Tabitha Vale
“The world never ended in fire and ice. The people were consumed by it and now control the elements. The Fires have harnessed the power down to an art while the Waters cower in fear of their abilities, remaining weak and hopeless. Seventeen-year-old Sage Sinclair hopes to dispel the weakness of her Water people because she knows that if she doesn’t do anything, no one will. When she discovers something special about herself, she seeks Humble Narcissist Ruler Agni in the great fire city, Saint Firefly. Once she gains his seal of approval, she’s admitted into Erra Academy where she secretly sparks a revolution among her ennui peers—a revolution to fight back against the Fires. She has every hope in her movement, just as long as her feelings for a handsome and frivolous Saffron Larkspur don’t get in the way—that, and Agni’s sudden fascination with her.”
If I had the ability to use water or fire, I would probably sit in my room all day amusing myself with lights flying around everywhere. Sage, however, knows there’s more to life than waiting around. In fact, Sage Sinclair is on a mission, and she won’t let anything get in her way. Her mission? Lead her fellow Water people back on the path to equality and prove to them that they are not weak or submissive by nature. The problem? No one listens or takes her seriously. Sage will not let anything so trifling stop her though, and she sets out to complete her mission. Who cares if a few things go wrong here or there? So what if she makes a few enemies? Sage’s mulish stubbornness and dedication to her sister’s cunning plan can accomplish anything… she hopes.
When I first read the premise, I am a little concerned. The premise for Pawn of Mine reminds me strongly of the Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon that I really liked when I was little. Except for the missing air and earth elements, it kind-of has a Katara vs. Zuko sound to me. I am nervous about how this is going to go over because I really likthe Avatar: The Last Airbender shows and would not like a knockoff… it’s a good thing Pawn of Mine turns out TOTALLY different.
As I read Pawn of Mine, the first thing I notice is that the magic is so very unique. In this world, to use magic the characters must draw from the power of the stars. I love that Vale mixes elemental powers with specific gestures and star points just like I imagine a wizard or witch using. The gestures and points are explained as the “users” hitting the points in the constellation. When this happens, their water or fire takes on the form of the drawn constellation . The more accurately a character hit the points the stronger the created form… pretty cool right?!?
Sage herself is a very unique character with a defiant voice and fiery passion. She is strong and fearless (from what I see), but she also has a recklessness that gets her into some really stupid situations. I am completely surprised at her best friend Zane’s ability to not constantly chant, “I told you so”. He is obviously a better person than I would be. I likedthat even though Sage chooses to do some pretty silly things without listening to words of warning, everything doesn’t always work out. Okay, SOMETIMES it works, and at these times I am just shaking my head and thinking how lucky Sage is, but many other times she realizes that she’s being a little rash. The only frustrating part is that Sage never seems to outgrow this rashness. She just jumps back into the fray with another crazy scheme. Lucky for her, craziness is a talent in which she is quite proficient!
The entire romantic plot of this book is very well written, though Sage seems completely oblivious to who she really should be liking *ahem*, and the guy she goes for just keeps falling flat in my eyes. I really don’t know what she sees in him! The whole book is an amazing rollercoaster that I cannot wait to get on again for round two. The ending is AHH-mazing and, even though I don’t really like what happens, it is a great mini-mystery (not quite a cliff-hanger) that keeps me hooked (and not too angry) for book two, Knight of Mine.
Personally, I really don’t like this cover. I think the story is fantastic, and the cover doesn’t seem to reflect any of that awesomeness. The girl’s face is hidden, but not in an intriguing way, and though it looks like there is something in the very middle of the cover, even on ZOOM I cannot tell what it is. I wish this cover reflected more of the magical, astrology parts of the story.
I give Pawn of Mine 4.5 out of 5 hearts: Very Highly Recommended!
For more on Tabitha Vale visit her blog here: http://tabithavale.blogspot.com
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