Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Book review: Venture Unleashed by R.H.Russell


NOTE: I received the ARC from the author. Thanks!!!

In continuation with Venture Untamed, Unleashed follows up on Venture Delving and his rise to his dream title - Champion of all Richland.

Writing Style:
Just like in Untamed, I've got nothing criticizing to say. The book was impossible to put down, which is why I advise whoever reads this to just go ahead and buy all three books and enloy a happy weekend in an intricately woven fiction world.

Story line:
Venture grows up from an uncontrollable angsty preteen, into a youth with the strength and ability to fight on the mat. He's got talent in fighting and he scored the best instructor ever - the current Champion, Dasher Starson.
Together, the two of them along with Venture's first trainer, Earnest, they travel the country and grow in mastery of skills and strategies.
All the while, Venture tries but fails to forget his childhood love, Jade Fieldstone, his master's daughter.

Themes:
- bondage, even to an honorable man is still bondage. No freedom to act as you will. No freedom to love whom you will.
- following your dreams sometimes makes all the difference. Sometimes it doesn't. But hey, you'd never know if you don't try.
- sometimes winning means everything. Sometimes it does not. Depending on who is looking through what perspective, winning could be physical, mental, emotional. If you can keep it up on all three accounts, then you really are made to hold the title.

Characters:
* Venture, my favorite boy/man after Harry Potter and Jace Herondale, grows a lot in this second book of the series. Not only physically, although he is a rock of a guy too. He also grows in confidence, in understanding of the complicated world around him. I can't say he's completely grown in wisdom, he's definitely getting there. Sure, he blows it sometimes, but everyone's got limitations.
I admire the consistency of his character and dreams, feelings and hopes. I loved him for defending what he believed was right. For being an honorable man, who'd risk his life for others.

* Jade was the same stubborn, lady-not-to-be. She's supposed to be acting as a young girl entering society, but even though it seems like that's what she's doing - it is not. Of course, those who know her best, know that she'd never give up on what she wants. That rumors of her honor mean nothing if she could only have the guy she wants.
Unfortunately, she's a bit blind to the games of high society played all around her. She knows nothing about Venture's fighter's life either, which is why she acted stupid, hurt and jealous.

* Dasher... mmm... if he wasn't a ladies' man, I would've adored him more. But I guess guys are mostly just guys, no matter where they come from, what they accomplish or who their heart belongs to (even when it shouldn't). He's a great friend though, a great instructor. I really liked how he coached Venture, gave him advice how to play the game and how to win.

* Earnest, like in book one, was funny, open to ideas, great trainer. He had an easy going character and did everything for his charges/friends.

I really do recommend this book to everyone. It's got good content. It asks the right questions and teaches the right values. In other words, it's a must-have!

My rating is