Being an indie author myself, I enjoy reading novels by other brave souls who decide to self-publish. It's tough to be responsible for a book from cover to cover, and I tend to be more forgiving when reviewing an indie novel because I sympathize with the challenges faced. This is the attitude I held when I picked up The Scribe's Daughter, but this novel demands that it be held to a higher standard.
Nothing about this book made me think, "It's good for an indie novel." This book is just a joy to read and can hold it's own against any competition, traditional or self-published. It is beautifully written, edited, and formatted with an intriguing storyline and captivating characters.
Stephanie Churchill has vividly created a world that will feel familiar to those who enjoy medieval historical fiction. As the protagonist, Kassia, experiences adventures that take her on the full range of fortune's wheel, each setting is beautifully described. I had a clear vision of mountain vistas, sparkling lakes, bustling cities, and thick forests, and felt as though I was there at Kassia's side.
Each character that shares Kassia's trials is given a unique and complex personality, but none more so than Kassia herself. Since the novel is told from a first person point of view, the reader is inside Kassia's head. We get to laugh out loud at her snarky sarcasm while we are sharing her inner pain and doubt. This strong, courageous young woman goes through more to get to her happily ever after than anyone in the story, besides the reader, is privy to.
This novel has action, romance, betrayal, secrets, and more, sure to please any reader of historical fiction or epic fantasy adventure. I grew close to the characters during my time with them and look forward to seeing them again in future installments to the series.