Through the Door
Author: Ana Reese
Title: Through the Door
Series: Serving Royalty 1
Genre: High Fantasy
Rating: Two Petals
On the Author's Website:
When his family suddenly finds themselves in debt, Jonas is forced by his mother to take up work in the royal palace, despite the fact he could be arrested if caught. Worse, Jonas is hired to be a palace whore. Terrified, but desperate, Jonas determines to make the best of the situation until his family's problems are resolved. But he never expected to catch the eye of the crown prince, or the hostile and conniving minstrel perpetually at the prince's side.
To help his family escape a crushing dept, Jonas becomes a servant in the castle. He expects to be cleaning, but instead becomes a pleasure servant. Jonas does his best to stay out of trouble, but when he attracts the eye of the prince, he knows everything just got considerably more difficult.
I am at an impasse as to how to write this review. On one hand, there were glimmers of brilliance hidden in the book and those glimmers made me very interested in reading more. On the other hand, the writing style was weak to the point of being almost completely unreadable.
The glimmers were all in the world building in the story. Yes, it's a little ridiculous to have such an intricate method of tricking servants into becoming prostitutes and the entire concept of the wing where those servants are terribly abused wasn't one I enjoyed. However, there were interesting political schemes occurring inside the castle between the major players in the realm and the hints I got of that larger issue were very interesting.
The writing style made it very difficult to read the book. It was telling instead of showing to a degree that even the characters themselves didn't seem to know how to describe something they were holding in their hands. Jonas' innocence and naivety offset some of this since he simply doesn't know how to describe what he is enduring, but there needed to be a bit more for me, as a reader, to be able to follow.
I also have to say that the way this story ends really doesn't work at all. It barely feels like the first chapter has finished when the story itself comes to an end. This isn't just a serious cliffhanger, it feels like the story is unfinished. There isn't a contained plot within this one book that might continue into the next book in the series; we've literally only been provided the introduction to the characters, the world, and the plot when the book ends. The author would have been better served if they had waited until chapter two and the rest of the story was also completed and released them all together in one complete book.
I can't recommend this book, but I really, really want to. I liked what I read because of the glimmers of potential, however the poor writing style and the extremely choppy ending made the book difficult to enjoy and even more difficult to recommend.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.