High Fantasy

Review: Daughter of Vengeance by David Temrick

Daughter of Vengeance
Image from David Temrick; used by permission

Title: Daughter of Vengeance

Author: David Temrick

Genre: High Fantasy

After being kidnapped from her safe, if unexciting, apprenticeship and suffering abuse at the hands of a minor noble, Michelle has had enough. A survivor at heart, she befriends a master assassin who takes Michelle as her apprentice. Her new taskmaster is demanding, but Michelle is resolute in her desire to prove herself worthy. After years of training and careful planning, she begins her life as one of the King’s many spies and returns to the world much more prepared for the trials that await her. A plot has slowly been unraveling which will destroy the fragile peace of the Kingdom of Rouen and plunge the world into chaos and war. Can Michelle rise above the short-comings and failures of her predecessors and set right the wrongs done centuries before? Will her life be the price she pays for the sins of others?

I’m not a massive high fantasy fan, but I do love a good assassin story. So it didn’t take a whole lot of convincing to get me to pick this up.

Michelle was not exactly what I expected. She was abused before she became an assassin, and with her past and her occupation, I expected she’d be a hard, bury-my-emotions character (or a crazy, angry one). But she wasn’t. She was more mildly traumatized than anything. I liked her, but she wasn’t what I thought she would be.

Michelle worked on her own quite a bit, and she traveled between batches of characters. So even though there were a lot of other characters in the book, none of them had really enough page time for me to comment on them.

The story starts out all nice and simple – Michelle is kidnapped and used as a concubine, an assassin takes out her kidnapper and takes her on as an apprentice. Then it goes all sorts of different directions. There’s assassin training, some magical stuff, good assassins and evil assassins, death threats, and even a messed-up romance. And, of course, lots of great action.

One thing I thought was a neat touch was the afterlife perspective. Michelle’s story was interspersed with her dead father’s reactions as he watches her life play out. Some of the dead relatives were great characters, and I thought the whole idea of her dad watching was cool.

Daughter of Vengeance needed a good copyedit. The punctuation was terrible and it became confusing character soup at times. But the story itself was strong enough that I’m willing to overlook it. Violence aside, Daughter of Vengeance was a good read.

I received a free review copy of Daughter of Vengeance from the author. His generosity in no way influenced, or sought to influence, this review.

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