Fourth Son

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
When a mining accident claims his father’s life, sixteen year old Jahnes Tehrel must find a way to keep his family from being forced into slavery in a world of harsh laws and even harsher penalties. Standing in his path is a divinely-appointed puppet government and a church intent on exploiting the people of Jahnes's world for their own mysterious needs. More

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About Monica Poole

Monica Poole resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband, Douglas and her three children, Deby, David, and Michael. She started making up stories at a young age and never outgrew the fun of it. The world of the Trimar Republic has been in her head from a very young age. "A frightening thought when one considers the darkness of that landscape," she admits. "Who knows what factors give the imagination its direction?"

As an adult she became interested in the issues of religion and politics. "I know, the two issues no one wants to discuss! But the differences in belief are what makes them so interesting. The part that intrigues me most is seeing how religion and politics combine to control society. If a person is convinced that their eternal destination is decided by their present behavior, then that behavior can be controlled. That power can be used for good or ill depending on the motives of the one dictating the behavior. It is a sobering thought to see how our society is controlled in this very way, whether it be religious, political, or needs motivated. The people deciding the rules have their own selfish interests in mind and not necessarily what is best for society."

By day, Monica is the owner and operator of a specialty bakery. She is on the board of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and she moderates two fiction critique groups, both in Denver. She writes during her free time. Look for the first three books in the Trimar Republic Series to be out in 2015 and 2016.

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Reviews

Review by: Fajriy Arunna on Dec. 05, 2017 :
A young man struggle and sacrifice to save his family.
Even though this story is set in another planet, it just feels so much like Earth and the characters are like humans. The author built both the characters and world well, along with the cultures and atmosphere.
From the beginning, it's hard for the MC to believe that a better day will come. Started with his father death, the events that followed seemed to get from worse to worst. Until one day he found out about his family line.
A story full of misery and struggle, but worth your time.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)

Review by: J.G. Gatewood on July 26, 2016 :
I was lucky enough to pick this up while it was free, and boy am I glad I did :)

So, let me begin by saying I will agree with other reviewers in that it moves rather slowly at the beginning. I think at least the first third revolves around the first two days in the MC's life. However, I feel like Monica did a good job of breaking up the monotony with several flashbacks that give us a view into the MC's early life, and I really enjoyed this piece. I know the slow pace might turn a few people off, but I urge you to hang in there. You will be rewarded in the end. This is a fantasy series after all, with a Sci-Fi element built in, and she had a lot of world building/character development to do, and I think she did a phenomenal job. Then again, I happen to enjoy these feature in a fantasy/sci-fi book, so I stuck with it. All in all, at around the 40% to midway point we go from spending two days and developing everything, to the rest of the book flying by as we spend the remainder spanning the next 4 to 5 years. I typically read for an hour each night before I go to sleep, which is usually good for about 10% per night. However, last night I couldn't put the last 28% or so down and read far later than I should have (it actually made me oversleep this morning, causing me to be several minutes late for a conference call, oops:)).

Anyway, Jahnes was a fantastic MC who I connected with on many levels. You understand what he is going through and the repercussions for his actions. Since this was a fantasy/sci fi story, I truly enjoyed that he wasn't a wizard with all powerful spells who was truly unstoppable, or likewise an expert swordsman who never faced defeat. Jahnes made several mistakes, and he quite literally was forced to atone/feel the pain of them. I think this made for a more believable character and I really was pulling for him.

I like the mentor role of Bhen. He was very strict, but you could tell he had a place in his heart for Jahnes.

Dahvin, don't even get me started on this twerp. I really enjoyed the way this character was written and I truly despised him and was waiting for him to "get what he had coming"

All in all, yes it has a slow start (in my opinion), but you will be well rewarded for pushing through it. A very good read I would highly recommend, with enough twists to keep you yearning for more. I have a couple more books in my queue, bit it won't be long before I'm turning the pages on Book 2, Truth Rebel, and man oh man I can't wait.
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)

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