{books pdf} Secret SacramentAuthor Sherryl Jordan – Stg2bio.co

Terrified, a young Navaron child watches helplessly from his hiding place as a young Shinili woman is brutally beaten and abused by a group of drunken Navaron men Too frightened to answer her pleas for help, the child runs away, taking with him the sacred bone carving of the Shinili people In doing so, he forever binds himself and his fate to them Gabriel is no ordinary boy His life is now marked out for greatness by powers beyond his understandingHe's never wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a wealthy, seafaring merchant, celebrated by all in the ancient empire of Navorabut cold and distant to his family Haunted by a terrible childhood secret Gabriel spurns family tradition and duties as the eldest son, to pursue a life of helping others Derived from a deep sense of guilt and strange mysterious visions Gabriel knows that he is destined to become a healer, with the power to decipher dreams, no matter what his overbearing family argues But against his will, Gabriel finds himself caught up in the power struggles of a corrupt Empire, endangering all that he loves His decision to hold true to his destiny is one that will cost him dearly, and one that threatens to tear apart the entire Navoran Empirebut which might just end up saving an entire people

10 thoughts on “Secret Sacrament

  1. Myth Myth says:

    Checked out from library. After reading several non-fiction books I was hoping to find something easy and fun in fantasy. This book was a gamble and I didn't really get what I wanted, but there was no great loss.

    Overall, I liked the book in the way one likes a book of tropes. There's something familiar and easy about it. A three is the most I could give it though. It was a meh plot line, meh story, meh writing, meh characters with a touching ending.

    Jordan tried to cover a lot of ground in one book and managed to do it more or less. Which is more than many authors who try to cover the length of time and grandeur of the plot can say. The writing however was a little amateur (it was obviously a lot of work and didn't seem to come naturally.) There was a lot of over usage of words like beautiful. Sometimes settings and things were weakly described and summed up as amazing or some other synonyms. The main character is in awe often.

    Originally, I thought this story was written in third person omnipresent, which it could be said to be, but it seems clear when the third person changed from character to character. There was a pretty large cast of characters in this book, which is typical of fantasy. I didn't need a chart at the beginning of the book.

    I'm not giving this a two or one star review, so I don't feel like I really have to explain myself to the people who love it. Does it seem like people tend to read the 1 to 2 star reviews more often than the highly rated ones? I do want to briefly address what I found lack luster in the book.

    The plot line is a chosen one type. The world wasn't well explored. Many notions about it were taken for granted or explained if and when they were relevant. That's partly due to a need to keep it short and easy to read for youngsters, but I hate giving that excuse. There are impressive books out there for kids that I love reading.

    The resources for this book's plot were kind of spread thin. There are several time skips, some very large. I've never read and loved a book that threw in huge time skips (as part of a coherent linear time-line.) The plot isn't character driven or driven by an immediate adventure or quest. It's driven by a prophecy and the politics of country falling into corruption. Jordan appears keenly aware of her time line and the sequence of events that need to happen in the plot. In a way this is so apparent it takes all the mystery out of it, which works for some I suppose, but it isn't my cup of tea. It doesn't seem like she cared if there was much left unsaid though, since in the Foreword she mentions Myron dies.

    The best part of this book was the plot; it was well structured and seemed to get the most attention, even if it was predictable.

    The characters were a bit lack luster. They didn't feel entirely fleshed out and felt a bit like playing pieces in a game. The characters I liked the most were the ones who showed flaw - Petra and Tarkwan and Gabriel's mother seemed like real characters. They have enough history to have depth and have flaws that get them into trouble. Gabriel's major flaw is supposed to be that he's a coward and he has a sort of naivete. These flaws are normal, forgivable reactions to the reader. He doesn't have any particular flaws or quirks that make him more interesting (he does like to run). And I have to say it takes a lot of courage to be a medic of any kind. I think it takes all the courage in the world to help people even when you know some of them are going to die and to continue helping people even after some do die. Occasionally, Gabriel's personality seemed inconsistent. Also, how many times do we need to be reminded about his looks and that he has wavy/curly red-golden hair that's frequently damp. I'm pretty sure I've read a similar description in another book with a character who had damp curls. Do you people, with curly hair, have some kind of dampness issue?

    Everything in the world (other than the immediate politics) is taken for granted. There's clearly a theology we're meant to take as a kind of Christianity I guess. There's nothing in particular about the world that's unique or interesting. It's as if Jordan is promising not to surprise us or scare us with anything unfamiliar. There will be no worlds through wardrobes, no moving stairs or talking pictures, no fairy folk living underground, no monkey librarians or talking dragons or humanoid trees or some mythology or festivity that we're truly unfamiliar with. There's nothing with an outstanding sense of creativity, quirk or unexpectedness.

    Part of this might be due to this feeling more like it should've been written to an adult audience, but was condensed and made a middle grade book. For a middle grade book it seems like there's a longing to be more erotic and sexual. I imagine it would've been better if it had been written to adults. Aside from the erotic parts, the world would probably be more in-depth.

    Something that kind of confused me was that it almost seems set up as if it should be a part of a series. At the end of the book it's clear that it's the end of Gabriel's story. Ironically, the end of the story could still be seen as a coward's way out. Courage is in the eye of the beholder.

    *Edit: I've found some grammatical errors and correcting them.

  2. Janet Janet says:

    Secret Sacrament struck me as an odd amalgamation - as if Louisa May Alcott wrote an epic fantasy screenplay for Disney. Most of the novel reads as a simple, relatively staid middle grade level coming of age story, but it occasionally lurches into scenes of sex and violence. Gabriel, the healer trainee protagonist, was too much of a vanilla goody-two-shoes for my taste, and in general both characters and cultures were painted in too broad of strokes for me. For example we were told the main villain was convincing and evil, but we were only shown one let's-kill-the-hero cacklefest and one je accuse scene. Also, we aren't told much about the love interest except that she's pretty, a healer, and as brave as the rest of her tribe. It wasn't enough for me to buy into the characters, although simple characters wouldn't have bothered me so much if the novel had stayed firmly in middle grade mode (who cares that the people are simple in Walter Farley, after all?). Also, I have seen the tribal/conquering culture dynamic done with much more detail and creativity in other novels. The combination of painted faces, dancing around fires, canoe races and brave fighting falls pretty squarely in the stereotypical. Sherryl Jordan is a talented writer, but I was left with the impression that this genre didn't fit her.

  3. Aelvana Aelvana says:

    Gabriel has never been the son his father wanted to have. On his father's death, Gabriel relinquishes his role in the family's trading company in order to become a healer. Despite his natural talent and astonishing success, Gabriel remains troubled by the dying woman he refused to help when he was a child. But Gabriel is part of a prophecy, and his actions will shape the future of two nations.

    Gabriel is an engaging main character. His terror as a child caused him to make a decision he forever regrets, and perhaps it is the pain that makes him so gentle and loving. He makes a very good healer. Far more interesting to me is that he sees and interprets dreams. He reminds me of Daniel.

    The themes are pretty simple and straightforward, but still powerful. Gabriel's statements about how people can't lose their lives was especially good. There's a lot of theological stuff that bears thinking about.

    The only thing that disappointed me was that the book ends at the first stages of the prophecy's fulfillment: as though I'd just spent the whole book preparing for the ultimate point only to stop short. I understand why Gabriel made the decision he did. I just wanted to see the fruit of that decision.

    On a more positive note, it appears Jordan has another book forthcoming with a title that hints it is the sequel! That would be very nice, and could possibly raise my opinion of the mini-series. For this book, on its own, Recommended.

  4. Amanda Amanda says:

    Sort of YA-ish, but a good story.

    It does remind me of a nursery rhyme about the little girl with the curl, right in the middle of her forehead. The good people in this book are very, very good, almost saintly. The bad ones are...horrid. Baddies who are so bad they practically wear black hats, and rub their hands together while cackling Buwahahahaha!

  5. Nicole Nicole says:

    Low-magic fantasy. Liked the premise of viewing everything through a healer's perspective. Feels like it was written under the direct influence of Dances With Wolves, particularly when one looks at the original publication date. Makes me interested to find out the conclusion in the sequel. Bitter-sweet.

  6. Beth Beth says:

    Just so spiritual and beautiful.

  7. Ryan Turk Ryan Turk says:

    I loved this book. I read it in high school, and felt so connected and inspired by the main character, I don't think I will ever read the same way again.

  8. Louisa Louisa says:

    Yeah, really enjoyed reading this book again! I knew what was going to happen, but I enjoyed the journey, and I can't wait to reread his daughter's journey!

  9. Cassandra Allen Cassandra Allen says:

    Excellent book with great character development, fictional government conspiracies, and many loveable characters.

  10. Amanda Amanda says:

    DNF about a hundred-some pages in. More on that later maybe.