Rom, an obedient member of society, becomes an instant outlaw when he comes to possess a vial of blood and ancient letter, given to him by an old man his father knew. In a society devoid of all emotion by fear, Rom is scared of being killed. He flees to his friend, Avra, but she is afraid as well. Rom replays the words of the old man over and over in his mind, and seeing no other way, drinks a portion of blood from the vial. And becomes human again, fully feeling all things. Avra takes some blood as well, as do three others, until the blood is gone. This is enough to spread a kernel of truth, that life in Byzantium is not the way it was meant to be, which is enough to start a rebellion.
Liked it! The storyworld and history were well-thought out and unique. The plot was engaging with plenty of mystery revealed in bits to keep me guessing. There were some shocking surprises and I look forward to discovering how those are worked out. I enjoyed Rom's character and Feyn too. The bad guy has a lot of sensual, violence in his point of view scenes, so that is a caution for younger readers. Dekker and Lee have crafted a wonderful start to this series. I can't wait to read more of this tale.
Well... this was one interesting story. I've read Dekker by himself, then Dekker and Healy, and now Dekker and Tosca Lee (whose writing I adore!) I can see bits an pieces of the feminine perspective in this story. The imagery surrounding love was pretty profound. Better to have loved and truly live, then to merely exist. That was a big part of the story. It made me also think of the scripture where it says Jesus came to give us life, and not just life, but abundant life. That symbolism is clearly in the story. I loved that.
While a bit violent in several parts (I'm a wuss when it comes to gore as I have a very visual mind,) the passion in this novel shines through and overtakes the darkness. Passion is part of life, and with it comes not only joy, but pain. Rom's extreme grief was very well done, as was his anger at "The Maker" for allowing him experience love so profoundly only to feel like his heart had been cut out from the intense loss of that object of his affection, Avra.
I found the symbolism with Feyn quite profound, too. The slow dying of a person's heart back into death is symbolic of those who forget who saved them and thus allowed their hearts to grow cold. But the sacrificial lamb in this book was a powerful message, because she remembered that love... enough to give everything for it. So deep and heartfelt! I loved that about the story. I loved the characters' discovery of love for the first time. It was precious to them, as it should be to us.
There was some similarity regarding betrayal and the reasons behind it (like with Judas in the Bible) that I also found quite thought-provoking. Great imagery there as well. All in all this was a great book. Some parts seemed futuristic, and some seemed like a shadow of the past. It also had a bit of a dystopian feel to it. I am looking forward to the next book when it releases in 2012.
Ted Dekker is strange. That is what makes his writing so good. He pulls you in and keeps your interest. I am going back and reading some of his old writings to catch up. I would recommend his books, as a matter of fact I have loaned his books to friends. Looking forward to the next one.