35 minutes | Jul 13, 2020

Emily B. Martin, "Sunshield: A Novel" (Harper Voyager, 2020)

A frustrated prince out to make a name for himself, a mysterious young woman who goes by the name of the Sunshield Bandit, and a prisoner named Tamsin — Emily B. Martin's Sunshield: A Novel (Harper Voyager, 2020) lets us get to know each character in alternating POVs, while still keeping the eventual connections hidden. Martin makes you empathize with her characters, creating the rare plot-driven book where you still feel like you’re following the travails of people who could be your friends.The Sunshield bandit is fiercely protective of her cobbled-together family, a group of escaped bond servants and slaves like herself. Along with her loyal coydog, Rat, and her friends, she subsists in the harsh desert from the gleanings of her stagecoach robberies. Since she’s constantly rescuing more enslaved children, some of them sick, her supplies don’t go far. She’s often hungry, feels guilty about not being able to help more, and has a huge chip on her shoulder.Tamsin’s problem is obvious. She’s been thrown into a stone cell, had her tongue mutilated and her hair shorn, and is looking for a way to let rescuers know where she is. It turns out Tamsin is very dear to someone in a high-placed position.Veran, the Prince of the Silverwood Mountains, seems to have fewer challenges than the other two. On duty as a translator for the ambassador of a neighboring country, Veran has come to the nation of Moquoia as part of the Eastern countries’ effort to stop indentured servitude. At first, his biggest problem is the blisters the shoes of Moquoian court leave on his feet. Soon though, Veran and his companions from the East, the Ambassador and his daughter, encounter suspicion in the Moquoian court, and become the target of serious accusations. When the Ambassador’s daughter gets sick with a mosquito-borne disease, it looks like their diplomatic mission might be over.Unless Veran takes a big chance and reaches out to the Sunshield bandit for help with the one thing that might convince the Moquoian prince to cooperate.Emily B. Martin is a park ranger during the summer and an author/illustrator the rest of the year. An avid hiker and explorer, her experiences as a ranger help inform the characters and worlds of The Outlaw Road duology and the Creatures of Light trilogy.Gabrielle Mathieu is the author of the YA fantasy, Girl of Fire, the first in the Berona’s Quest series, and the historical fantasy Falcon series. You can follow her on Twitter to get updates about new podcasts and more @GabrielleAuthor, or visit her website at gabriellemathieu.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/fantasy
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