Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’

Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan.

July 11, 2019 Comments off

winter fireWinter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan. Pub. Scholastic, 2019.

First published in 1994 this reprint was made because the themes it has are so relevent to today’s world and because it is damn good literature. I am so glad it was reprinted because I missed it first time around.

Sixteen year old Elsha is the main character and her story is totally inspiring. Her guts and determination lead to a wisdom that is unquestionable and you will be with her the whole way.

The world she lives in is in total winter. The climate of the world has changed and heating is the only game in town. The World is kept warm by mining firestone and the top banana in this world is the Firelord who has the power to divine firestone.

Society has two groups equivalent to the haves and the have nots. The Chosen are in command and the Quelled are their slaves, are branded and are forced to mine firestone in appalling conditions. The Chosen live in mansions, the Quelled in tents and squalor. Elsha is one of the Quelled and she is rebellious.

Ingrained in Chosen thought is the opinion that the Quelled have no intelligence, no rights and no soul. Their women are not women but harsha. Elsha becomes handmaid to the Firelord and has to live in the Chosen world that despises her.

Elsha swears to use her position with the Firelord to improve the life of the Quelled and open the eyes of the Chosen. Will she succeed? Read it and find out.

Superbly structured and written by one of New Zealand’s great writers. If you miss this second time around you are mad. The more I read the deeper I became attached to Elsha’s plight and quest. Magic!!

Blood of the Lamb: The Crossing by Mandy Hager

Blood of the Lamb: The Crossing by Mandy Hager. Pub. Random House, 2009

Writing a novel about a post apocalyptic world is not a new theme for a New Zealand novelist of teenage fiction. Fleur Beale’s Juno of Tanis , Bernard Beckett’s Genesis and Anna MacKenzie’s Sea-Wrecked Stranger, come to mind in recent times.

This finalist for the NZ Post Book Awards is quite different. It is set in the Pacific Islands a place where the church and the word of the Minister of the Church are all powerful.

Maryam is a young girl of 15 years who has not yet reached puberty and is as trusting and innocent as you can get.  Mandy Hager  puts her in a position where everything she has held as true, is now seen as being sinister, all her beliefs are shattered, and her view of the world completely overturned. How will she cope?

The rulers of this island paradise have perverted the teachings of the bible to form a Blood of the Lamb religion in which all girls upon reaching puberty are sent to the Holy City to serve the Lord. Oh what a shock they have in store!

The Holy City is a cruise ship that has been anchored outside the reef after The Tribulation  has destroyed the world as we know it. Those that run the Holy City need blood and offspring, and girls when they arrive are divided into either bleeders or breeders.

Maryam experiences some humiliation and then escapes. Will she find support? Can she convince the people, who are heavily indoctrinated, that what they are supporting is evil? What has happened to the world outside the Islands?

You will have to read this thrilling story to find out, and believe me it is compulsive reading. I can’t wait for the next part of this Blood of the Lamb Trilogy.

Suitable for teenage readers.