Bethany Andrews's Reviews > The Skewed Throne

The Skewed Throne by Joshua Palmatier
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's review
Aug 31, 07

bookshelves: fiction, bookofthemomentreviews
Read in March, 2007

Varis is a young girl who considers herself "gutterscum." The majority of her childhood was spent as a street orphan, learning to steal to survive. Home is a place called the Dredge, the slums on the outskirts of a once prosperous city called Amenkor. On a daily basis, Varis witnesses unspeakable crimes and actions by others who are fighting to survive, much like she is herself. One day, she meets a seeker named Erick. Erick works directly for the mistress, and when she says someone needs to die, that person is sought out and killed. Erick enlists the help of Varis, to help him find these marks and ultimately despise of them. Through this job of sorts, Varis continues to hone her survival skills, and add some new skills to her growing list. Eventually things take a turn for the worse, and Varis flees the Dredge, leaving behind the only place she has ever known.

Once in Amenkor, Varis is faced with surviving in a whole new world. After seeing her fighting skills at their best, a wealthy merchant hires Varis as his personal bodyguard. Through this man, Varis finds a sense of belonging, and realizes that there is a greater purpose to her life than she originally thought. The mistress isn't at her best mentally, and eventually Varis finds herself in a situation she never imagined possible. I don't want to give away anymore than that. This is one of those books that's tough to summarize in a few sentences. While its not an overly complicated plot, there is quite a bit to it, and I just covered the basis.

While the plot kept me interested, what really drew me into the book was Varis herself. Joshua Palmatier, the author, has created a strong female heroine in this story, and you can't help but come to admire her. Admiration aside, Palmatier also captures a wide range of human emotions in Varis; everything from lonliness and fear, to acceptance and love. To me, that's what makes a good story. It takes more than a good plot line, you need to feel like you're right there with the characters, and in this book I did.

If you like fantasy, go get this book. If you don't like fantasy, go get this book. While it is labeled in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, its not just that. It's a story of survival and human emotion; of coming to terms with yourself as a human being..there's a lot to it, and its very well written. It's also the first in a trilogy, so there are two more that you can read when you're done.

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