Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Review Sacrificed (The Last Oracle Book 1) by Emily Wibberley

Fifteen-year-old Clio should have never been the Oracle of Sheehan. That power is passed from mother to eldest daughter, and Clio is the youngest of four sisters. But when her entire family is murdered by Mannix, the king's adviser, Clio is left all alone and heir to a power she never wanted and doesn't understand.

Hunted by Mannix, Clio seeks refuge in a foreign city where oracles are absolutely forbidden. If she's found out, she will be sacrificed atop its great pyramid.

Clio has no choice but to win the trust of Riece, an enemy warrior. Despite the growing feelings between them, Clio knows that if he finds out who she really is, he won't hesitate to kill her.

Clio tries to hide her budding powers, but the visions she has of Mannix bringing a barbarian army into Sheehan torture her conscience. She alone has the strength and foresight to stop him, but only if she can embrace her destiny and sacrifice everything.

**Pre-Order available Amazon release date February 13, 2015

“I owe you my life a thousand times over, not because you’ve stopped spears from piercing my heart, but because you’ve shown me a world where you fight, not out of hate, but because you care, because there is so much worth fighting for.” -Riece

My Review & Thoughts 
Cover: Amazingly perfect...beautiful...fitting, whatever one word that can mean that! 
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Teens(16+)
Tag(s): Oracle, Kings, Emperors, Kick-Ass female, Warriors, Prince
Romance: Hearts, hearts, hearts...Riece! Hint: Warrior = Keeper
Her eyes slid from Derik’s fiercely determined expression over to Riece, and her breath caught in her chest. His face reflected no pain, no fear — nothing but pure, unfiltered love. She couldn’t look at them, couldn’t bear to watch as their final breaths slid from their chests.

Let me start this review by acknowledging this is the Debut book of Emily Wibberley and she did an amazing job!

Reading the blurb I debated if I would be interested in a book about Oracles. I have yet read a book on them and not sure if this one was the one for me. The cover's beautiful, title is capturing, and the blurb sounds enticing. Well! I'm thrilled I did read 'Sacrificed' for many reasons! This book can easily be a top favorite for many fantasy/young adult readers! Fast paced read, it took me a day to finish, keeping the interest as a reader.

As part of the peace agreement, Sheehan had to send temple maidens to Morek. According to Sheehan law, the girls had to be blessed in the temple before they could perform their duties.

Outside, the girls were tied up and waiting at the entrance to the temple. The hot sun beat down on them, and their skin screamed out in angry blistered protest. They couldn’t have been much older than Clio, but the rags that clung to their peeling skin told stories of a suffering Clio couldn’t imagine. Most of them were slaves sold by their masters to the King, but some were just destitute girls who thought that becoming a temple maiden would bring them a better life. Clio hoped they were right, but as a temple maiden herself, she knew that it wasn’t much different.

Clio is a rebellious teen, fighting to be the opposite of her mother, The Oracle and her sisters, Vessels. She doesn't want to believe in the 'tricks' and 'Sight' of the Oracle but that it's all a manipulative scheme...Until her family is murdered and Clio receives her first true vision. The vision showing she has one sister remaining, Ali. Clio makes it her mission to save her sister before it's to late. But where her sister is getting sent, the kingdom of Morek, despises oracles and use them as examples in their daily sacrifices.
Regardless of how it all occurred, Oracles were not welcome in Morek, and Clio could never set foot in the city for fear of being recognized and then executed.
Trapped in the city, Clio finds herself a very unexpected alley, Riece.
As the young guard turned, Clio got a glimpse of his plumage. Her spirits sank. Gold. The highest rank. Rank was based on how many enemies a man had captured for the sacrifice. “How many men does it take to get first rank here?” His response was flat, emotionless. “Ten.” The scar stood out pink and raw against is brown skin.
Clio continuously gets visions of the havoc Mannix  is causing all around her and must find away to stop him before it's to late. (Wish I can give you more than that BUT I don't want to spoil the fun!)

This book got in the nitty gritty. It is a young adult book but Ms Emily did not hold back on the vision she had especially the torture, gruesome scenes, and the disgusting characters she creates, such as the cannibels 'Untouched tribes'.

What I loved about 'Sacrificed'
-Clio! Don't let her fool you in the beginning. She becomes a spunk of fire through out the book and does not disappoint being a strong female lead with a clever mind.
“You let this man in here, and he’s not coming back out.” Clio tried her best to adopt a confident demeanor. She widened her stance, arched her back, and kept her arms loose and ready to move as soon as that gate opened.
-The villains created fit the part! They're mean, disgusting, sadistic, and all of the above.
“Because in all of my travels, the only men I have known to cut out their tongues are the Untouched.”
-Last but not even the least Riece! Fearless, arrogant, loving warrior is all wrapped up to be the perfect hero!
“Well, that’s only part of it. I’m famous because I saved the Emperor, and I am ridiculously good looking. And amazingly charming.” -Riece
Riece! After reading all the highlighted quotes (15+) over and over again I fell in LOVE with him! He is the total package of swooning, comical, loving warrior wrapped up in perfection!
“That makes how many times now that you’ve hit me? Do you always make a habit of punching the boys you know, or am I just special?” He raised one eyebrow teasingly. -Riece
His personality made this book! Comical, loving, and pushing the limit with young Clio made their relationship warming.
Without hesitating, Riece climbed out of the pool. Clio had to shut her eyes quickly in order to avoid catching a glimpse of his translucent garment. This only made him laugh. He walked over to the abandoned cloak and wrapped it around his waist. “You can open your innocent eyes now.”
Smart and wity made Riece the dangerous and youngest commander in Morek's history!
“Boys —” he addressed them casually but out of breath — “Are you aware that by attacking an imperial commander, you are declaring yourself an enemy of the Emperor himself?” The attacker’s only answer was a blade swiping dangerously close to Riece’s head. “I’m guessing that’s a ‘yes,’” he said under his breath. He took quick steps back as he feinted to the side, drawing their blades wide.
As you can tell, a mildly obsession is brewing!
“You still planning on going in?” She nodded. “Then this is the only fight that I’ve ever needed to be in.” His eyes burned with all the words left unsaid. -Riece
Now, the author is playing with my emotions! She has a slight triangle going on in the book, making Clio decisions a bit more difficult. Derik was mildly a character in the book which to me that's fine because I love the fierce warrior. I do think he will be a bigger part for the following book in the series 'The Last Oracle'.
“And you think he kissed you, why? Because he wanted your help with an itch on his lips?”-Riece
There was a great mix of romance and action balancing out, keeping the integrity of the story. 

Now there's some spots that weren't perfectly 'cleaned' up to have the reader not ask questions. Example, the age of Clio is 15! I think if the author made her a bit older, she would of had more room to play with her character and evolving the relationships. Non the less, Clio acts wiser then a 15 year old. However it does NOT take away from the story as I read, I just used my imagination to fill in :)

Being Emily Wibberley's first book, she has beyond the 'Deities' of potential to improve, change, and making a unique story.
And if I have to change a little in order to better do this, then that’s the sacrifice I am called upon to make. -Clio

Cliffhanger Warning!
This book leaves it open to be continuous series!
Highly Recommended Read!

Complimentary copy was given for a honest review!

Mini Excerpt
Slowly, Ali opened her eyes. Both Mannix and Clio flinched at what they saw — Ali’s eyes were pure white. “I may be blind, but Clio can See you. You think we knew nothing of your plan?” 
“You didn’t foresee the King’s true death.” Mannix smirked. “The King is dead?” Ali’s bank eyes widened in shock. “But we killed your assassin.” “My decoy.”
He waved away her word. “So it’s true. The Oracle cannot foresee her own death. I imagine the Deities knew humankind well enough not to drive the Oracle mad with such knowledge. But it leaves a very gaping hole in their Sight, don’t you think? The King died alongside the Oracle. She couldn’t see his death without foreseeing her own.” Mannix crouched down in front of Ali and cupped her chin in his hands. “Your mother, what did she do to you?”
“We did know some of your plans though.” Ali smiled, but Clio could see fear in faint tremble of her lip. “The Deities come to the Oracle through her sight. When she took my eyes, the gift passed over me. She made it so Clio would be the Oracle. You won’t have her.” Mannix smiled. “Is that so?” He turned to his guards. “Take her to the pyramid. They will know what to do with her.”
Mini excerpt Clio & Riece
“You are completely out of your mind. You know that, right?” But the hint of a smile lit up his eyes, a warmth that reflected pride. “Tell me truthfully, do you simply have no fear? First, you voluntarily join a group of slaves to enter a city that wants you dead, and then you threaten to kill yourself to avoid being killed.”
“You forgot the part where I volunteered to go first on the pyramid.” “Right, that too. If you were a man, you would be a great warrior.”
“If I were a man, I wouldn’t need to be anything. If I had been a boy, I never would have become the Oracle.” She started walking again. The ground was getting steep below them. Rocks and pebbles dislodged under their feet, rolling down the terrain below them. The sun was concluding its descent, sending fiery spears of red up into the sky. “But I do have fear.” She thought about Mannix’s words — about how the girl she had seen in Mannix’s chamber might well be a glimpse into her own fate. “I’m afraid of what he will do to me if he gets me. The only thing protecting me is that he believes I am too valuable to be killed right away.”
“Well, you are. Clio, you are the only living Oracle below the great sea. With the Morek Oracle gone and now your family, you are the only one left.” “And I thought you didn’t like Oracles.” Clio smiled cautiously at him. “I don’t… or I didn’t,” his eyes met hers for a moment before he turned back to the terrain. “He made you the last Oracle because he wants something from you.”
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