Promised Valley Rebellion by Ron Fritsch Asymmetric Worlds
reviewed by Karolina Blaha-Black
"I wish to live with Rose Leaf for the rest of my life. And nothing will stand in our way."
The quote above describes the feelings of Morning Sun, who is a prince of a community of farmers living in a fertile valley. Set in prehistoric times, this valley was supposedly promised to the people by the gods themselves in the time of their ancestors.
Fritsch weaves a star-crossed lovers tale of despair, war, and treason. Morning Sun wants to wed Rose Leaf, a farmers daughter, but his father, the king, strictly forbids it. Morning Sun and his best friend, Blue Sky, question the decision, but the king chooses not to give them a reason why the two can't marry.
The farmers are under a constant threat from the hill people, who inhabit the mountains surrounding the valley. Unlike the farmers, the hill people live only by hunting. Every year, the young warriors from the valley must act as guards upon sunrise pass to protect their home from an attack by the hill people. On one such guard duty, Blue Sky meets and falls in love with a hill man, who tells him a secret: Rose Leaf is the hill people's princess, abducted by the valley people's king in the last war with the hill people. Rose Leaf, Blue Sky, and Morning Sun now understand why their king forbids the marriage. As a result, they start a rebellion in their valley, one that would turn everything they know and trust upside down in order for the prince to marry the woman he loves or die for treason.
Fritsch's is a good tale that feels real, with a strong promise and a good twist at the end. The book is a good candidate for a series, as there are a lot of things that the author can do to develop this story further. Grammar and punctuation are up to par, as the reader would be hard-pressed to find any misspellings or typos. However, constant repetitions of the character's names, situations, and happenings slow the story down.
A good book to read by the fire in wintertime, Fritsch presents us with a primitive society, in the manner of Jean Auel's books, but with much more compassionate characters.