Monday, May 5, 2008

The Gifted, Part 2: The Betrayed

Title: The Betrayed

Series: The Gifted #2

Author: Lisa T. Bergren

Genre: Adult Historical/Supernatural Suspense

Excerpt from Chapter One of The Betrayed:

October, The Year of Our Lord 1340

“Sir, we have brought the one you seek,” the wiry man said from a dark hallway.

“Good. Bring her in,” Vincenzo said. He glanced at the man beside him, Abramo Amidei, staring out the window, apparently deep in thought. Or preparing for this…

A small, elderly woman arrived, flanked by two large guards.

Vincenzo descended the two steps downward and looked her over. Here was the last one to be questioned—the last one touched by Daria d’Angelo, healed by her. He and Abramo had wrung every detail they could from each of those healed by the “Duchess”—a title more granted out of honor than true. There had been far more than Vincenzo had realized, and each gave them more insight into Lady Daria’s life with her new companions.

The city dwellers called this one Old Woman Parmo, in that there were few who reached their gray and wrinkled years, and yet she had the spirit of one who could still take on another in battle. Old eyes, rimmed in wrinkles and understanding, met his own. “Baron del Buco,” she said in greeting. She did not fear. She only waited.

As with the others they had questioned, Vincenzo recognized something of Daria within this one. There was a common strength within them all. Daria had healed her. Given her height and vitality once again. Vincenzo had seen this old woman himself in the marketplace, done business with her. For decades she had sold cloth, so bent over that she could not meet her customer’s eye. Now here she was, before him, upright…What power was that? That Daria, Daria d’Angelo, his Daria could do this?

Old Woman Parmo met his gaze unflinchingly, as if she already knew he had turned against Daria. Suddenly, Vincenzo’s master, Lord Abramo Amidei, turned from the window and descended the stairs. With one broad stroke, he took the old woman by the neck, rushed her to the wall, slammed her against it, and held her there, struggling to breathe. “Where?” he asked between gritted teeth. “Where have they gone?”

The Gifted seek to elude the clutches of evil seeking them.

The Writing: Descriptive, uncluttered, vivid, active—these are some of the adjectives I could use for The Betrayed. Like the previous book, The Begotten, The Betrayed places fleshed-out characters in a setting so detailed that you can almost hear bells tolling, taste salt breezes, feel cold stones. Combined with a well-paced plot, this makes for strong writing indeed.

The Content: The Betrayed has some potent themes woven throughout it. Sacrifice. Courage. Hope in the midst of darkness. Service to God despite reluctance.

However, as before, the vivid descriptions include some graphic portrayals of evil, such a the scenes involving whippings and torture.

Summary: The Betrayed is a well-written tale with some deep spiritual threads. The descriptions would be a history buff’s delight, and the classic good-versus-evil plot fits well for readers of fantasy. However because of some of the more graphic elements, this is definitely an adult novel, not recommended for anyone under sixteen.

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Don't forget to check out the review for book one and book three, too!

Looking to purchase The Betrayed? Buy it here now.

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