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Review: ‘Resenting the Hero’ by Moira J. Moore

October 7, 2010

Dunleavy Mallorough had always looked forward to an average life.  An average Source for a partner, average assignments, nothing adventurous or stressful or dangerous.  Then she found herself Paired to Lord Shintaro Karish, the most flashy and non-average Source alive.  Handsome, skilled, and with a reputation for wantonness, Karish is everything Lee wants to avoid.  And there is no way to get herself out of it–Pairings are involuntary and for life.

Lee falls back on all of her training in the Shield Academy to survive Karish–remain as stoic as possible, do not show emotion, always take responsibility and follow the laws.  Most importantly, Shield her Source from the forces he and every other Source could manipulate to keep natural disasters from happening.  But as time goes on, Lee finds it harder and harder to keep to her Shield training.  Emotions slip through, and Karish finds the cracks in her armor.  When events begin happening immediately after their Pairing, Lee finds out what life with Karish is going to be like–unpredictable and not average in the least.

From the start the two are thrown into a high-profile arena.  A new Pair, newly bonded, should not have been sent off to High Scape, the most active city in the country for natural disasters.  But that is what comes from being Shield to one of the strongest Sources to ever live.  It doesn’t help Lee any that Karish is also a noble–and being the duke’s younger brother is hardly low-profile.  When Karish goes missing, Lee finds herself searching not only for Karish her Source, but also for Karish her friend, and she must learn how close she wants to get to her partner.

Lee at first rubbed me the wrong way.  When I first started reading I couldn’t imagine a person being so analytical and almost robotic.  She didn’t seem to have any wants, any desires, any dreams beyond her work.  But the storyline intrigued me, so I kept reading, and as I went along Lee grew on me a great deal until I actually began to like her.  By the end of the book, I couldn’t believe the changes that had taken places in this character and I found myself rooting for her every step of the way.

Karish–or, as he prefers to be called, Taro–is fairly likable throughout the story.  Sometimes he does fall back on the classic noble act, but more often than not he is a good-hearted person who genuinely cares for his Shield, not only as a partner but as a friend.  Speculation about a romance is inherent throughout the story between Karish and Lee, but Moore doesn’t take that anywhere beyond friendship or a tiny hint here and there nearer the end.

Aiden, a friend of Lee’s throughout the book, starts off great, and continues to provide a contrast to Karish as the story nears its conclusion.  Where he goes wrong is near the end–but I can’t say more, or I’ll ruin the ending!  Overall, a well-liked character who is someone I could pass on the street everyday without question.  He seemed very real and every-day.

While I liked this story and plot a lot, there are a few flaws.  It’s written in first person, which normally isn’t a problem, but there are a few times when Lee’s inner dialogue is just annoying.  The first chapter is very slow, as it sets up the rules and reasoning of the world Moore created.  If you can get past the first chapter, it smooths out and picks up.  But that first chapter, I will admit, could kill the whole story for some people if they don’t see how the rest of the novel could accelerate from the slow, analytical pace of that first chapter.

I thought the ending overall was pretty good, but the conclusion of the conflict felt somewhat abrupt.  In this case, Lee tells us through her recapping of the events what happened in the aftermath, we do not see it ourselves.  I almost wish Moore had written more of the action of that aftermath instead of having Lee recount it for us–I think it might have helped give a more solid conclusion to the main conflict rather than wrap it up and move on to the conclusion of the secondary conflict.  I had no problems with the characters, only with the plot and structure of the story itself.

My only other problem with the book?  The cover art.  It’s ridiculous, and while it does express Lee’s feelings about the initial relationship with her Source, it has nothing else to do with the story.  But as this is a publisher issue and not the author’s fault, I won’t hold that against her.

I would still recommend this book.  It is a funny read, once you get past the initial chapters.  Moore writes with a great deal of humor but balances well with the seriousness of the events that take place.  Her characters are well written and established, and are likable as well.  I give points to the book for its humor–there are too few fantasy books out there that include some real humor rather than let everything rest on the serious, epic events.  And I will definitely read further in the series to find out what happens with Lee and Karish!

Book info: published 2006, 285 pages, ISBN 9780441013883

First book in the series

Buy on Amazon * Author’s website * GoodReads

Copy is from personal library

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