3 out of 4 stars
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Estelle and her brother, Jesse, were born into a family whose way of life is considered taboo in the kingdom. They believe in the teachings of the Floras and take their faith seriously. After the Emperor ordered the killing of their parents, Estelle and Jesse had to live with their aunt. Eventually, they were both chosen to be students in the Emperor's Academy and serve the kingdom in different departments.
Estelle and her brother continued to pray for the strength to serve the Emperor, even though he murdered their parents. Perhaps they were destined to be at the service of the Emperor, but for what purpose? You have to read Estelle by L. M. Heath to find out.
This book is set in the 5th century BC. It is a perfect blend of coming-of-age, romance, and conspiracy stories. I enjoyed the author's use of the alternating-person points of view throughout the narrations. It helped me to understand the sentiments of the main characters better. I also liked the songs in the book. My favorite is "Caius' Song." I found myself trying to give matching tunes to the lyrics. Even though my results were hilarious, I enjoyed the feeling.
What I liked the most about Estelle is its characterization. I like how lifelike the characters are. I found myself getting worried about their safety. There were times I was so happy with their achievements that I had to call myself to order. My favorite character is Jesse! If you find Estelle to be your favorite, please know that I don't have anything against female characters. I just found Jesse to be brave, focused, intelligent, and compassionate. I also enjoyed how suspenseful the reading experience was for me. I couldn't wait to find out what happened at the end of the story. It helps that the author's descriptions are so vivid, which made me feel as if I was watching an epic movie on a big screen.
I must report that my reading experience wasn't all rosy. This book's editing leaves a great deal to be desired. The errors in the book are annoyingly distracting. Sometimes, I didn't even understand the dialogues due to the myriads of typos and grammatical errors therein. In two chapters, I found the name of the character whose perspective is featured to be wrong. Even though I wished for a breathtaking climax and didn't get it, this book's poor editing is what I disliked the most.
To conclude, I am taking a star off the book's rating due to its editing mishaps. Therefore, I am rating Estelle three out of four stars. Considering that I managed to enjoy the book despite the errors, I couldn't have rated it lower. I am recommending the book to both teenagers and adults who like stories about ancient empires, conspiracies, and romance. But I would advise prospective readers to delay reading this title until the author rectifies its editing issues.
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