Rekall's Reviews > Steal the Dragon

Steal the Dragon by Patricia Briggs
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Mar 02, 12

bookshelves: female-mc, adult, 3rd-person-pov, fantasy, female-author
Read from January 18 to March 02, 2012

In some ways I thought the summary on the back of the book was misleading. I thought it was going to be a slave's journey from freedom to revenge. Somewhat like a female version of the film 'Gladiator' only set in a fantasy world instead of ancient Rome. Instead the story begins with Rialla already freed and she's not a spy but rather a horse master who is bribed into going under cover as a slave with a mercenary friend of hers.

Despite the novel not being what I expected, I still enjoyed it for the first half of the story. It's during the second half, I felt things feel apart and is completely the reason why I rated it so low.

For over half of the novel we are repeatedly told that dancers like Rialla are valuable slaves and that's why Rialla does not fear returning to her former master since she knows she will not be harmed too much. But then, after only be back a few days, Rialla is raped by her master's son. The reader is also told that Rialla was raped during her former life as a slave as well and it's apparently a normal occurrence for dancers.

I fully realize that these are slaves and so rape should be expected, but don't tell us that dancers are slaves who are not harmed and then go and harm them by one of the most horrifying acts possible. The worst is nothing happens to these rapists. Rialla rapists goes unharmed by the end of the novel (he's actually a lot better off at the end than during the course of it). And another lord who once raped and murdered a girl (which cause Rialla to escape when she had been a slave) is in an even better position.

The other thing that really bugged me in the second half of the novel is the healer. Through out the first half of the story, he's pretty sweet. And then he goes and soul bonds himself to Rialla without her consent. Is Rialla mad at him when she finds out? Nope, we're simply supposed to accept that it was a "wonderful" thing that happened to her.

It's a shame that rape and forced bonding had to get in the way of what had been an entertaining story in the beginning. I was prepared to give this novel 4 stars until I read the second half.
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