Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Drinna by Jared Gullage review

Drinna, a young Kunjel girl, finds herself awake in a world her parents have only talked about, The Sea of Grass. It is a place inhabited by dangerous creatures, vicious enemies, and even poisonous grasses.

What’s worse is that she was preparing for a rite of passage where she learned to control the rage of her people. Without the guidance of her people, the rage could be both a strong ally, and a lethal enemy.

She has only her knowledge of this place to help her. She must learn to use her parents’ guidance, question long-held beliefs, and trust herself or she won’t survive.

As if this was not bad enough, someone is watching for her, chasing her, waiting for her to make a mistake in order to capture her or worse….

My review:
3.5 stars

Drinna by Jared Gullage is the story of a young kunjel woman who is lost in the great Sea of Grass while undergoing a very traumatic stage of development.  Drinna is the daughter of a successful merchant family who are taking her to safe place for Traika, a rite of passage to learn to control her rage.  You see all kunjels have the ability to go into a rage and become much stronger and faster than they normally are.  It seems to manifest about the same time puberty would in a human.  When the rage first begins there is no controlling it.  You must be isolated and restrained while being taught how to bring on the rages and control yourself while in them.  While on the trip to begin Traika she wakes up one day in the middle of the Sea of Grass.  This is a terribly dangerous thing as without the highway she has no idea where to go as well as having no food or water.  As if those concerns weren't enough there are also many predators that would love a kunjel snack as well as the Hial, a primitive tribal society that would kill her as well.  

The book unfolds with Drinna struggling to survive by herself for the first time in a very harsh enviroment.  The story begins to unravel how Drinna came to be alone in the middle of the Sea of Grass.  She encounters many different kinds of wildlife and eventually makes a friend, but she is constantly in danger.  As the story progresses you are treated to an in depth understanding of Drinna's mind and the struggles that she is going through figuring out her rage by herself.  There is also the cultural fear that she will be outcast for doing something dishonorable while in the grips of her rage.    

I felt the story started out a bit slow, but by the end I was fairly enmeshed in the world that Jared has created.  In the beginning one of the things I struggled with is all of the new creatures and terms that are used.  He does explain everything pretty well when it is introduced, but there is a lot of information and I got mixed up a few times early in the book.  I'll even admit that I was hesitant in the beginning as the struggle for survival by one person against the environment is not really a typical choice for me to read, but once the mysteries started to become unraveled the story really started to draw me in.  I think that as Jared writes more books set in his universe it will really start to become a vibrant creation and I look forward to seeing some other works.  

Review copy provided by author.

The Dust Finders

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