25 September 2016

Tour & GIveaway: The Last Messenger of Zitol by Chelsea Dyreng

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The Last Messenger of Zitol by Chelsea Dyreng.
Audience/Genre: YA Historical, Fantasy.
Publication: September 1st 2016 by Sweetwater Books.
When Rishi is kidnapped and taken to Zitól, she faces an unthinkable future: she is to be sacrificed to appease the gods. To survive in this place, where greed, lust, and fear eclipse compassion, Rishi befriends the selfish and ignorant king, only to discover that he may not have the power to save her after all.

In this gripping romance of ancient America, Rishi will have to help the king learn about restraint and true love if she wants to stay safe and alive.

Reviewed by Kelly.

The story is told by Nadal (The future king of Zitol). He starts off telling you that this book was written by him. He is conceited and self absorbed. He tells you about Rishi and that she is pure and nothing like him and that she has to die. Well that got my attention! But as the book goes on, he starts to grow on you. He has his own opinions on his future kingdom. But the Speakers have changed the way things are done over time and they basically run things and Nadal realizes that he is only a puppet and just stops trying.

He tells the story of how Rishi became the last messenger of Zitol. Rishi lived on a remote island and her grandfather taught her to read and taught her values and virtue. The whole island was full of good people. Rishi was stolen from her island with some other young girls. They were going to be sold. They would either be the messenger or be concubines. The girls had no knowledge of this as they are innocent. While in captivity they learn some of their fate. One girl is raped. I really disliked their time in captivity. It was stressful to read and wished that part could have been shorter.

Rishi becomes the messenger. She is tested and tried but Rishi remains steadfast in her virtue and her standards and accepts what her fate will be. She dislikes the people there but continues to hope and pray for help from the gods. She becomes friends with Nadal but they keep their friendship a secret. She teaches him to read and as he learns to read he gathers knowledge that changes the way he thinks and what he believes. He also starts to fall for Rishi.

"When a person is kind and virtuous and displays honor and tolerance - such as you do- 'beauty' ceases to become a label that can come and go with your appearance. 'Beauty' is who you are. No matter what you look like, whether you are old or young, wide or thin, tall or short, blue eyed, brown eyed, or have one of each, that has no bearing on defining beauty. Even if you have a scar across your face, if your teeth fall out or if you lose your hair... your virtue makes you beautiful in a way that eclipses any physical trait. True beauty isn't a way to describe a person, it is a person."

The story has a great moral to it! Rishi is an amazing character that you route for! I loved how Nadal changes over time! I cried! I laughed at Rishi’s brothers! I enjoyed the conversations that Nadal had with Leema. Ugh! I just loved everything but the sorrow with the girls in the middle of the book.

I’ve been to Machu Picchu before and in my head it all took place there. It worked for me!

If you like pagan rituals, holding your breath under water, islands, books about virtue, remaining steadfast in your belief, Evil leaders, and stories with sacrifices, temple gods, family, the color blue, being able to read, and then this might be for you!

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Chelsea Bagley Dyreng is the author of “The Cenote.” She was raised in Wyoming and Idaho and earned her BA at Brigham Young University. She worked for several years as a librarian before moving to North Carolina where she and her husband are raising five God-fearing, book-loving, adventure-seeking kids.

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