R.J. Craddock has released the second novel, The Offspring in The Children of Cain series. Originally, I planned to finish both books for her stop on my blog tour, but my body had other ideas and decided to pass kidney stones instead. Caught in a drug-induced haze, spiked with bouts of intense pain, I regretfully concluded it was best to wait on the later. Please look for my review on The Offspring over the next week or two.
In the beginning of The Forsaken we find five-year-old Gwenevere wondering through the forest all alone in the midst of a snowstorm. She’s wearing only one shoe and speaks a strange language. If someone is smart and reads prologues, they’ll figure out pretty fast that Gwen is from another realm. The world is magical, but deadly for anyone who might have a claim to the throne, which I’ve concluded she has. I’ll have to read on through the rest of the series to see for sure.
The Forsaken touches on the heavy topic of sexual abuse, and many other aspects that can go terribly wrong without another human being to love and care for a small child. Gwen’s tale is a sad one so far, reminiscent of The Book Thief mixed with Flowers in the Attic and sprinkled with magic. I give Craddock a solid four-star rating for this novel. She has a seamless way of pulling you into the plot by leaving a trail of nagging questions begging for answers.
I held back a star for a couple of reasons. It might have been a style conflict, but I didn’t connect to the characters as much as I would’ve liked. I had a similar struggle with The Book Thief, and it seemed like everyone loved this novel but me. Some POV shifts took me by surprise, making it difficult to know whose head I was in. There were times I wished for more of a tease and less of a full disclosure, but I guess that’s one of the drawbacks of the main character being a mind-reader (I’m so glad I can’t read minds). For a first novel, I felt like Craddock gave a lovely performance, and I look forward to reading The Offspring.
To purchase or discover more about The Children of Cain: The Forsaken, and The Offspring, please visit: