Friday, January 10, 2014

Book review: Venture Untamed by R.H.Russell

NOTE: I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!

After I finished reading this book, I sat down at the computer and contacted the author. Here's what I said:

I know it's been awhile since you've published the books about Venture Delving, but I just finished reading the first one (got it via Netgalley) and I found it quite impossible to put down. If I had to compare it to any other series, I'd gladly say Harry Potter and I won't be kidding.

You'd probably think I was exaggerating, but gosh, I was not! Venture Untamed has every single trait that a book lover wants to read about. It's got adventure, it's got romance, it's got action. It's got passion, hatred, anger. It's got devotion, uncertainty and humiliation. I'm telling you, this is a book (and author) of many talents.

So, the world of Venture Untamed is kind of like ours, only several centuries back when there were carriages and people rode horses to get from one place to another. When there were bonded servants. It's a fantasy world though, not a historical time from our world. It doesn't have magic in the convenient meaning we've all adopted or anything paranormal at all.

Yet, I could almost taste the 'magic' of life in the air. The 'magic' of the value of one's existence. The 'magic' of love and friendship and free-given bondage. I don't even know how to describe it but it grabbed me, you know? It was like a magnet pulling me in.

If you're wondering, Venture is the main male character. He starts off as an angsty boy who can't help but get in trouble. All the time. Worse though is that he's a bonded servant in a world where those like him are treated like scum. As if their life didn't matter. Try imagining holding your anger when mistreated. Try imagining holding onto your honor, to your faith, to your desire to keep your loved ones safe.

When I think of Venture, especially in this first book, I envision the broken boy, all alone, left with no parents to take care of him. I also see his courage to grow up and be a man of honor. I see his strength and determination. I also see his forbidden affection for Jade, his best friend and daughter to his master. You see how complicated this gets? It spins out of control later, but I'm not taking this review there.

Jade Fieldstone was an impressive girl. She was not girly. She wanted to learn how to fight. She wanted to be independent. And she sure didn't want to be pampered by any boy. Which is why Jade frustrated and angry with Venture on many occasions when his thick head forgot she wasn't a weak girl in need of protecting. She was smart and I really liked that about her. Her quick wit brought Venture where he belonged - to the fighters' arena.

Gosh, you have no idea how much fighting helped Venture with his anger and other issues. I'm quite sure without the mat he'd have drowned in his anger and frustration. He felt out of his element everywhere else, but on the mat he was king. Sure, he made mistakes, he lost fights, he wasn't by any means perfect. But he had passion not only to win, but to win with honor.

I'm sure that Venture Delving will capture your heart too, as long as you give him a chance.

My rating is