Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Review for The Collar and the Cavvarach

Every once in a while I post a book review for a fellow author. I’m kind of picky about these and will only write a review if I really enjoyed a book. (I know how important reviews are as an authorJ)  The Collar and the Cavvarach by Annie Douglass Lima was one of those books that I loved and wanted to share with the world. If I were a star giver, I would've been tempted to dole out 5 stars for this book!

It takes place in a fictitious world and revolves around a slave boy, his sister and their owners.   The image of the slaves wearing a metal collar left a power image in my mind that allowed me to feel the terrible captivity that they experienced. Even after finishing the book, I found myself thinking about the abhorrence that is slavery yet I didn’t feel Ms. Lima shoved the concept down my throat.  Bensin, the main character was endearing both because he looked out for his little sister and tried everything to free her.  Another unique element of this story was the martial arts slant.  In order to try and free his sister, he tries to win Martial arts competitions in a society where winners are revered even if they are slaves.  My favorite character of all was Bensin’s new owner, often called Coach.  I thought Ms. Lima did a wonderful job letting us feel his moral conflict with his role as a slave owner. Overall,  I found the storyline to be unique, which to be honest, is hard to come by.  After reading The Collar and the Cavvarach, I am excited to see what else this talented author publishes. Kudo’s to you Ms. Lima.

Here's a little more about this lovely book.

About the Story:

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire's most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie's escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time.  With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?

What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach?

The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences.  One is that slavery is legal there.  Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone.  Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover).  

Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil.  It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with "have a rack"), an unsharpened weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge.  Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades.  You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.

Want to Find out a Little More?

Click here to read a description of the setting and what life is like for slaves and others in that world.

Click here to read chapter 1 for free!

About the Author:

Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published ten books (one YA action and adventure novel, four fantasies, a puppet script, and four anthologies of her students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.

Connect with the Author Online:

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