The Official M.L John Website

The Official M.L John Website

Book Reviews

The Redwood Rebel, by Lorna George

Posted by Michelle John on February 28, 2016 at 3:15 PM

Naomi was a princess, once. Before her cousin Adrienne usurped the Redwood throne, murdered their family, and threw Naomi into the deepest part of the deepest dungeon, she was heir to the throne of Ffion. Naomi has been there for three years, periodically tortured, nearly starved, and longing for just one glimpse of the sun. When Adrienne’s henchman comes to offer her a chance at escape, Naomi can only expect treachery—and she’s right.


Arun is the king of far-distant Koren. His land is prosperous and thriving, and he needs only one thing: a wife to bear his royal heirs. Despite his counselor’s insistence, he agrees to marry Adrienne because she’s the closest thing he can find to an appropriate bride. But when his people’s traditional wedding-night magic goes wrong, it casts both Arun and Naomi into a situation neither expected and a headlong flight for their lives.


I enjoyed this book. Naomi was my favorite part, and I’ll tell you why: she was very real. Many authors would expose their characters to horrible abuse at the hands of their enemies and then have them recover immediately. Naomi is a tough, capable lady, but she’s been through horrors, and her behaviors show it. She’s cold and angry at times, but she can also be fiercely loving. She’s complicated. She’s no Sarah Connor, who’s lost her femininity in the face of the pressures of war. She’s been weakened by pain, and though she’s brittle, there’s something very relatable about her. Arun is pretty good, too. He’s a decent enough guy, but he’s internalized a lot more of his society’s worldview than he realizes. They have a long way to go before they can be friends, let alone anything more.


The world, I would say, was pretty standard, the magic system was above par, and some of the imagery was downright great. These things were kind-of a vehicle for the story’s message. To tell the truth, that was the only thing I really had any qualms about. Sometimes, the message was so strong it drowned out the story. It’s a good message, and one I whole-heartedly support, but I felt like the story was a little subordinate to it at times.


In short, it was an interesting and enjoyable addition to the fantasy genre. I’m not sorry I paid for this book, and I’d absolutely pay for the next one. So if you love a strong but flawed heroine and a charming but overbearing hero, I’d recommend checking this one out.


You can get the book right here:

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