A Book to Share: Resenting the Hero by Moira Moore
Posted by Melissa
Last month I wandered a little aimlessly through some lovely pictures and quotes. It was fun, but now I’m going to get down to some book business. For this month, I’m doing book reviews. I like reviewing books that are either new or at least new discoveries for me, but recently I’ve been rereading some old favorites of mine and I realized that some of my favorite books are one that many people have never even heard of.
And that is just beyond tragic.
So this month, you will learn about four very diverse and enjoyable fantasy novels that I particularly enjoy and hopefully you will be able to add at least one new favorite to your collection as well.
I actually used to work at a bookstore. It was a delightful time for discovering books because as I was shelving copies, I would often find myself scanning the backs of ones that had a title or cover that caught my attention. One such book that I had never heard of nor seen before was Resenting the Hero by Moira Moore. I took a risk, bought the book, and proceeded to thoroughly enjoy it from cover to cover.
The premise of the book is this: We are introduced to a world that seems purely fantastical, but the narrator gives a hint of a story that perhaps the inhabitants of this world were brought from Earth on spaceships and subsequently abandoned because the environment was too temperamental for the space-faring colonists. Those who stayed behind settled into a somewhat medieval style of living and their origins faded into a sort of legend of star-born ancestors. At any rate, that doesn’t really affect the story but it was a fun little hint from the author.
This story is more preoccupied with their present conditions. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and everything in between very regularly and suddenly assault the towns and cities of this world. Their salvation, for some time, has come in the unexpected form of people who are born with the ability to channel the forces of the storms and calm them. They call these people Sources. However, the energy from the storms kills the Sources, until other people were discovered who were born with the skill to shield the Sources’ bodies from the energy. They are called, unsurprisingly, Shields.
Our story follows one particular Shield named Dunleavy Mallorough. Lee is a sensible, well-trained, even-keeled Shield who is graduating from Shield Academy and awaiting her chance to be bonded to a Source and sent off in a Pair to help protect a town somewhere from the elements. Because Shields and Sources only work well when they form an odd, instantaneous sort of bond with each other, she has the pleasure of standing in line while available Sources walk past and make eye contact. If one of them is her Source, they will both know immediately.
Of course, it’s just Lee’s luck that she is chosen by the last Source she expects to be chosen by. Lord Shintaro Karish is her polar opposite: a flamboyant, charming aristocrat with more gossip attached to his name than Lee can fathom. The fact that he’s also a very good Source is secondary to the fact that she finds him extraordinarily annoying.
They are assigned to one of the most dangerous cities in the realm, are immediately embroiled in a massive plot by a mysterious villain, and, throughout it all, have to learn to be partners.
What I particularly enjoyed about this book is the viewpoint of Lee, the stolid and sardonic heroine who just wants to be given a job so that she can do it and do it well. She doesn’t want fame and glory; she doesn’t want surprises; and she definitely didn’t want to be paired with someone like Karish.
At the same time, the dynamic between the two main characters is extremely endearing. Karish is not nearly as irritating as Lee rather mulishly imagines him to be, and he does his best to win Lee’s respect and trust.
I am not the sort of person who loves clever world-building. Characters matter more for me, and these characters were lovable. However, the system of magic was very interesting and creative in the book as well, for those who do like good twists in a stereotypical fantasy world. Sources and Shields as pairs who must guard their world from natural forces are not really magicians. What they do is more instinctive. What Lee and Karish learn is that there is more to Source and Shield magic than what they originally thought, and that’s when the political games begin, although those are more significant in the later books.
While I enjoyed this first book more than the three that have come after it, I did enjoy its sequels as well. However, the first book does stand by itself and is definitely worth a read if you enjoy light, engaging fantasy with a bit of clever humor.
About Melissagenerally in love with things Celtic, mythological, fantastic, sharp and pointy, cute and fuzzy, intellectual, snarky, cheerful, or some combination thereof. Such things as sarcastic bunnies wielding claymores might come to mind...
Posted on November 7, 2012, in Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Lantern Hollow Press Authors, Melissa Rogers and tagged book, book review, character building, magic, moira moore, resenting the hero, Story, World Building. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.