THE THIRD SCROLL
In this ambitious, vividly imagined story, Marton creates a promising and immersive world that is, at the same time, darkly brutal. The prose is pleasant and skillful. While there are a handful of minor grammatical errors, and the pacing wobbles a bit, the splendor of the author’s vision cannot be overlooked.
Sold into slavery, Tera, a budding healer, is thrust into the savage realm of barbarian warlords, the same realm that claimed her mother years ago. She must avoid the displeasure of her warrior lord and survive the cruelties of the concubines, even as war threatens. A greater danger looms when she catches the eye of the most powerful lord of the land and is taken to his Pleasure Hall. Tera struggles to escape, while searching for the secret behind her mother’s death. But what she discovers challenges everything she believes in. A path set long ago beckons: a path that could lead to triumph, or the destruction of her world. (DANAMARTON.COM, May, 485 pp., $7.99)