Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Thorn and the Sinking Stone by C J Dushinski

Published: March 9th, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Ecopy: Entangled Teen 
Summary: Goodreads

Warring families. Forbidden love. And danger they can’t escape…

Daggers. Roses. Cowboys. Boat Men. Survivors of Earth's Last War, four “families” vie to rule the dreary streets of Rain City through violence and blood. Valencia Hara, Princess of the wealthy Black Roses, is raised in warrior ways with sharpened steel. But she is no ordinary Rose. She is Cursed—tainted with the ability to see seconds into the future…

To avenge his father's death, Sebastian Leold, of the rival gang Two Daggers, must face off against the Black Princess, he with his dagger, she with her katana sword. Yet a secret from a shared past leaves him unable to kill beautiful Valencia; nor can she kill him. For they once knew each other beyond their blood feud…and they have more secrets in common than they know.

But in a world filled with vengeance and violence, there can be no room for love…

I'm thinking that this is a dystopian type of society but I'm not entirely sure that I was completely able to picture it.  It seems almost feudal in its aspect with an eye for an eye mentality,  but we still have motorbikes and video games.   Some members of society are 'cursed' but I couldn't work out why, and I still am not sure where in the world they were.  

Valencia is a lone 'princess' among a horde of warring gangsters, trained to be a 'samurai' and the reader is told that she is exceptionally good with her sword.  She is given her grandfather's (?) katana and then promptly loses it after her first real fight ! She is then given a replacement by her mentor and guard and then promptly goes out and loses it as well!!  Sorry, but that did nothing to convince me that she was a master samurai, just that she was careless.

'The Thorn and the Sinking Stone starts out with a real Romeo and Juliet feel to it, but the feeling dissipates a little as the story progresses.  I did quite enjoy the interaction between Valencia and Sebastian, and I managed to believe in their relationship.  I would like to have known more about why the various gangs are so intent on killing each other, and I would certainly have liked a little more world building, but perhaps that will come in future volumes.  

An interesting story, but it didn't quite grab me completely. I'm not sure if I'll continue with this series.

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