The Crossing (Blood of the Lamb: Book One)
by Mandy Hager
Cover Artist: Larry Rostant
Review by Gayle Surrette
Pyr Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781616146986
Date: 08 January 2013 List Price $16.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Maryam has been raised on a small island with other young girls to serve the Apostles of the Lamb aboard the Star of the Sea. They are brought to the island as very young children. There is little education other than what would be needed to perform their duties and to read the holy scripture and rules.
At last, she is called to come to the main island and to serve. She's excited and joyful for her opportunity. When she arrives she's taken to the ship and shown about, but things seem a bit off to her. Her welcome is shocking and not at all what she expected. When Maryam meets a friend she knew on the training island she's excited to find her pregnant until she learns it is her third pregnancy.
Nothing is as she believed it would be, but as hard as she tries to accept and believe that the failing is her own, she comes to realize that something is very wrong on Star of the Sea. Maryam is determined to make a difference, especially once she makes some friends and allies.
Hager's characters are quite believable as reality and belief collide and some very difficult moral and personal choices must be made. The story is carefully crafted to keep the reader as much in the dark as Maryam, who supplies our viewpoint on the world, its people, customs, and beliefs. Several times, I thought I knew what was going on only to find that there was a twist and a revelation of something I hadn't expected.
As the start of a new series, The Crossing will keep you engrossed until the final page and anxious to find out what happens next. I truly hope that book two lives up to the expectations raised by this set-up.