by Carol Berg
Every once in awhile, I pick up a book with low expectations but come away in awe of the power of the written word. Such was the case with Transformation, and with this novel, Carol Berg has vaulted her way to be one of my favorite authors.
Berg's protagonist, Seyonne, is a slave who has endured untold hardships and just seems to be marking time until he dies. His people have been destroyed, and after 16 years in terrible servitude, he has no hope for the future.
After he is sold to Prince Akesander, the heir to the Derzhi Empire, things get both better and worse. The Prince is a man without much empathy nor thought for those less fortunate than him, and while he has a temper which could result in Seyonne's casual and immediate death, the work he does for the prince is not life-threatening in and of itself.
In the prince's court, however, Seyonne gets a whiff of demons through a small remnant of sorcery he possesses, sorcery which was burned from his body when he was captured. Seyonne's instinct is to fight the demon, but without his old powers and in the position of slave, what can he do?
Berg writes this flawlessly. Her characters are believable, their gradual changes logical. The hopelessness of Seyonne's predicament is excruciatingly felt. I found myself drawn into the fabric of the story. And while Seyonne's ability to withstand perpetual cold is perhaps a stretch, there were no factual errors in the story as far as I could tell (I have had a rash of such errors in books I have recently read).
I cannot recommend Transformation enough. This is a great novel.
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