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Promised Valley Rebellion

Ron Fritsch
Asymmetric Worlds (2010) 
ISBN 9780578057781

Reviewed by Marty Shaw for Reader Views (4/11)  

At its heart, “Promised Valley Rebellion” is a story about misunderstandings, and how a society can base its whole philosophy on what is perceived to be correct. The people of the promised valley are living their lives as they always have until a seemingly innocent decision makes the new generation, and the old generation, face off against each other. Prince Morning Sun has found the woman he wants to marry, but his royal parents have decreed that Rose Leaf is the one person he can’t be with. It’s up to Rose Leaf’s brother Blue Sky to use his insatiable curiosity to discover the reason why because it’s already been determined that Morning Sun and Rose Leaf aren’t related. Blue Sky’s quest for the truth leads him to startling revelations about himself, his family, and the land his people call home; and the answers might not be the ones that can halt the growing tensions that threaten to lead the people to civil war.

Fritsch’s novel seems daunting at first, with a huge cast of characters that have names like Morning Sun and Blue Sky, but the writing style and the story itself kept me from becoming overwhelmed, and the twists and turns of the plot kept me reading as Blue Sky slowly finds his way to the truth. The characters have depth so it’s easy to understand their motives as some seek to hide the past even as Blue Sky is driven to uncover it. The story does involve some male-on-male romantic relationships but the descriptions never become vulgar or overly descriptive.

The plot has a slow pace with very little action throughout the whole book, but the pacing does allow for the main characters to become fully developed so that the reader can understand the motivations each person has. Blue Sky could be considered a troublemaker but his father shares an interesting history with the king that practically gives him free reign to do as he pleases. Before the end of the book, he learns that this freedom, combined with his fearless curiosity, comes with a price of its own.

“Promised Valley Rebellion” might not be for everyone because of the slow pace, but you’ll enjoy it if you like in-depth characters, a mystery that’s not easily solved, and a subtle twist that could change everything.

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