The Twilight Saint
Ailive has been born to be an assassin but is constantly underestimated due to her sex. When she is neutered and saved by her doctor brother she still wants to serve the tribe even as she believes she is being punished for past sins. The betrayal within her tribe undermines her ability to stay unchanged, and then when she wanders as a tribeless she does not know where her feet will take her – unless it is to the university where her love still resides.
Other people on Amazon I saw had complained about the callous killing of a puppy early in her training. To me, it fitted right in with her character. There is so much other blood shed going on that a single puppy-beheading is not going to make a huge difference! I suppose if you don’t have a strong stomach, don’t read this novel as there’s plenty of bloodshed – although not all of it is unnecessary.
I found it quite interesting that the cult formed by her brother seemed a lot like the coming of Jesus Christ and his disciples. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I tolerate Christian religion, but don’t have much time for it being the saviour of all things. This cult being formed though seemed like although most people were converted when they were exposed to it, it really was a peaceful conversion, nothing like the Holy Wars and Crusaders of Jerusalem.. This quickly faded though…
This book is not outstanding, but I didn’t feel like it was a waste of my time to read it either. I probably wouldn’t read it again, as the plot lines were quite transperant and nothing really came as a surprise or was intricate enough for me. I think overall I have mixed feelings about this novel. The ending was actually sort of depressing to me. Not in a bad way, and I couldn’t have imagined it ending in any other way, but it was just very sad.
The dialogue in some parts seemed strained, and the flipping between first person perspective of Ailive and what seemed to be an omniscient view, seemed odd. I was occasionally tossed out of the narrative by these things, but in other parts I felt compelled to read and read.
The character development and relationships are what carry this novel along. The travelling and overall theme of ‘the journey’ is also apparent. You have to feel sorry for Ailive, she has made so many mistakes, yet it seems like she will never have peace.
It is concerning (but perhaps a positive sign) that a number of books I have read recently have commented on the inevitability of war and how humans always seem to follow the same paths as they have taken before. This should be thought provoking for people – if one man or one woman can change the outlook of an entire war, then every little bit each of us do in our daily lives could have an effect too.
I would recommend this novel for adults due to the generous amounts of spine snapping and ugly pain. It’s an easy read in terms of language, but it requires a little more out of you if you expect to get some expansion of human knowledge from it.