Title: Buying Trouble
Author: Karen Chance
Series: Dorina Basarab #1.1, Cassandra Palmer World #9
In: On the Prowl (Patricia Briggs)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Fae, Paranormal romance
5th sentence, 74th page: The dragon was Tanet, my newly discovered brother.
Claire just wants to keep out of trouble. But that isn’t always easy when you’re a mage with the extremely unusual ability to block all magic around you. And when Claire’s sleazy boss decides Claire herself is the most valuable rarity to sell at a magical auction, trouble finds her. Now, her only hope for survival is to trust a mysterious and handsome stranger, a Fey Lord named Heidar. As their pursuers close in, there’s one thing for sure, savior or threat, Heidar can show Claire things she never imagined in this world, and in herself. . .
This story took a lot of unexpected turns – first, the journey started at an auction house, then Clare finds out that she’s actually up for auction, and then she finds out more about her true heritage. All in all, the combination of these facts created a tumulus ride which spanned a number of beautifully constructed settings. The fact that the alliances and loyalties of the obvious love interest within the story were vague and difficult to pin down helped to add to the unpredictable, fast-paced track of this novella.
The use of first-person in telling this tale helped to place me in the slightly uncomfortable shoes of Claire. Mostly due to her status in the magical world and the constant danger which her powers place her in. However, the irresistible pull she feels towards her male counterpart and her fear and frustration at being forced to flee are incredibly potent emotions that are stunningly displayed through her own words. Her description of her emotions, confusion and thoughts made me feel incredibly connected to this slightly unorthodox lead, something which I love when reading any story.
Although slavery isn’t supposed to occur anymore, the use of Claire as a pawn in overall political games and the willingness of others to sell her reek of a lack of women’s rights in this world – even when slavery is supposed to be abolished. Even her newly discovered family appear to be politically inclined, although at least they are grateful for her presence. It is a reminder that although overt ownership of women isn’t present in today’s society, there is still a sense of ownership and usage over women who can prove to be useful.
The thing that I loved most about this novella was the conclusion of this tale. It leaves the story open for more journeying into the world of Claire and the Dorina Basarab series, but also hints at a ‘happily ever after’ for Claire.