Monday, March 30, 2015

Something Red by Douglas Nicholas

A ragtag group of travelers are moving across the country with their wagons, an ox, a mule, and a mare and their musical instruments.  Everyone has a special talent; some of it is magic, some skill.  And Hob is there because he's an orphan who was left with a priest who had aged and could no longer care for him.  He's thirteen, but he's already growing into a man.  Traveling with Molly will make him grow up a lot faster...

Emily Bestler Books sent me this series to read for review (thank you).  This is book one and has been published.  You'll be able to find a copy now at your local bookstore.

Molly is an Irish Queen who has been displaced.  She travels with her granddaughter who is also a queen.  They both know how to heal and have some magical traits.  Hob thinks they're fey.  Jack is huge man who was a Knight in the Holy Wars and has seen some awful things.  He doesn't speak because of war injuries and he has a limp but he's whole and still has a formidable strength.  Jack protects Molly and the others and is Molly's lover, too.

As they travel, they go from safe place to safe place.  There are thieves and monsters in the woods.  When they have the opportunity to travel with others, they do so for safety. They have to fight their way forward through thieves and people who try to take advantage of them.  Both the women feel something in the woods watching them but even Hob can't see anything.  He's very observant and remembers the incongruity of sentences.  He's an aid to Molly even if he's not magical.

First the danger was with them, then behind and then in front of them.  When they try to return to one of the safe havens, everyone there has been killed.  The only person who could still speak said it was a fox, but no fox could have killed the big hounds and all the guards.  Molly regrets that the sick Lady was staying there died but then she finds her and her men at the castle they go to for safety.  The last part of this story made the pages turn quickly.  The monster is in the castle and it will take the team Molly has made to try to save everyone.

This is an exciting story that you can tell is leading to something greater.  It's a mix of adventure, mystery, horror and even shapeshifting.  Mr. Nicholas has put a bit everything in this story and it works well together.

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