There’s a man who used to live in our town—rather average in every respect. Height, weight, hair, eyes, skin. Well, not skin. You see, he had the largest port wine stain on half his face that I’d ever seen. It looked rather like the mask worn by the Phantom of the Opera.
I remember children being fascinated and afraid at the sight of him. Though, he always acted as if he didn’t mind, I can’t believe it didn’t hurt even a little. So, ever since then I’ve dreamed of writing a character like him. Someday. I have the book planned. In fact, I even have the opening scene written. I just need the time to finish…
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All of that has a point to it, of course. You see, in For Love and Honor, Jody Hedlund has created a character with a rather large port wine stain on her arm—in medieval times. Look, my own research of medieval times shows some pretty scary superstitions about everything from cleft lips, to albinism, to other distinctions like port wine stains. So, when I saw that she had that stain, I requested to review the book, and Celebrate Lit provided it.
What I thought of For Love and Honor
Sabine: I’d say that characterization is the best part of this book. By, oh… half a page into her first scene, I wanted to slap her. Oh, it was glorious! Seriously, I haven’t had so much fun disliking someone in a very long time.
She drove me nuts—and all in the best ways. Even better than that, I learned to love her to bits—without her really changing. She was the same character and yet she managed to change my opinion of her.
That is some seriously good writing right there.
Sir Bennet: what a cool guy. I couldn’t help but love his flawed but honorable self. Ms. Hedlund did a fabulous job of creating a consistent character who still managed to grow and be uncertain at times. Too often when authors do that, they create wishy-washy characters. I read another book this week and that’s exactly what I got from it. NOT in this one. This was fabulously done. Of course, it’s what you expect of a hero. She delivered.
Grandmother: Okay, she’s just the perfect blend of feisty, lady, bossy, and gentle—all when they needed to be. In fact, while she manages to keep herself in check with what is expected of her station, I do suspect we know where Sabine gets her sharp wit and repartee.
Don’t believe me? What about this bit between Grandmother and Sir Bennet?
Finally, she released me and stepped back “Can he sire children?”
“While he’s never had the opportunity to discover that,” I replied, unable to keep my sarcasm at bay, “it’s highly likely that he’s quite capable of doing his duty when the need arises.”
Speaking of repartee:
The book is full of it. Chock full of it. LOVE every single solitary absolutely amazing word of it. Not once did it fall flat. Not. Once.
Not only that, she also really pushes the repartee line. I’m not kidding. There are several times where the banter goes on and on—for pages! And it is just as sharp and witty at the end as in the beginning. I seriously love it.
Plot: I really thought the plot was beautifully developed. Hedlund takes those fabulous characters and matures and improves them through the course of a story that while not distinctly original is quite original in the execution of it. At bare bones, this story is like that of every fairy tale and of none. Come on, battles, secrets, priceless artifacts, romance—all wrapped up in a deep story that tugs at your heart. What more could you ask for?
Oh, yeah. One more thing–a fabulous cover. Just sayin’.
All things considered, I obviously recommend the book.
In fact, I’m giving it four stars because I really liked it. But for one thing, I would love it. However, that one thing did take away some of the enjoyment.
Honestly, I don’t know how to describe it. And it’s probably just me. I suspect that it is. But elements of the writing, the phrasing of things—they kept jarring me. Sometimes they just felt rather modern (phrases etc.) and other times it was probably the first-person aspect.
Yes, this book is written in first-person dual perspective.
And with that came things that just irritated me. Mostly some of the fatalistic elements. Look, I know this is YA and therefore, authors feel like they have to do that, but you know what? As a matter of fact, I don’t know any kids as fatalistic as so much of YA fiction portrays them to be. For what it’s worth, and like I said. It’s probably just me.
And, you know what? I still really liked it—almost loved it. And I might actually change my rating later, because hey! Who doesn’t love a book with a line like this in it?
My silver coins are quite capable of doing all the impressing. They don’t need my interference.”