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For Readers Age approx. 14+
Grades 10+
 

The Victor - Review
< Back to reviews for ages 14+>

Publisher's Summary:

Giron, Marlayne. (2009). The Victor. Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing. ISBN #978-1-60799-184-7. Author age recommendations: middle school & higher. Litland age recommendation:  Of interest to adults and teens age 13+ (and younger gifted readers).

Publisher's Description: A benevolent King; ...his sword of power; ...a ruthless traitor bent on revenge; ...and the faithful son who stands in his way with the woman destined to share his throne. Who shall emerge as the victor in this epic struggle between good and evil to govern the lives of hapless men?" (Tate Publishing)

   

Respect for self and others: This includes integrity (adherence to a code of conduct or value system), honesty vs. manipulation or lying, compassion, caring for others (characters not focused on getting their way no matter what) self respect--main character does not let others denigrate him or her; use of self control and self-discipline ; taking charge of own behaviour; fairness to others (such as taking turns and avoiding the blame game). Reader should ask themselves “How does the protagonist depict their peers?” “Would you want others to treat you this way? Should everyone act this way?” This includes true friendships that do not involve regular lying, deceit or manipulation; considering consequences of actions prior to acting; owning up to responsibility once an action has been taken.

Protagonists in this story demonstrate all of the virtues consistently. Each has a very distinct personality with its “flaws”. Yet those differences prove to be their strength and collectively they are a force to be reckoned with. Self-talk, dialogue and narration all portray good guys who can compete in battle while still allowing their opponent to maintain his dignity; show remorse for their error; have confidence in their own self-worth as well as the worthiness of others; and seek to allow the bad guys every opportunity to change, with death being only the most final option.



Portrayal of Authority figures: The positive portrayal of parents, teachers, police officers and other “good” authority figures common in a child’s life is a positive influence upon the child’s own moral development. This includes actively-parenting mother and father figures. Minimization of parental involvement in the character’s activities or the portrayal of authority figures as inferior present poor role models. Also to be avoided are main characters that deceive parents and teachers to accomplish goals, and overuse sarcasm towards authority figures. Ask yourself “Are parents seen as positive or negative influence in the character's life?”

Authority figures are portrayed with honor. The knights and those underneath them are strong and courageous but have firm standards to which they adhere; age-old standards of chivalry and honor. Likewise, the leaders of the antagonists show deceit and brutality.


Citizenship and Patriotism: Loyalty to family, team or group, school, community and world; caring for and being considerate of these groups. Pride to be part of that group or nationality.

This story defines true loyalty and citizenship versus those who deceive through a false guise of the same. As such, it reinforces the reader’s innate recognition of Truth, further enabling them to recognize a facade. (The antonym of facade, by the way, is character). Knights and their underlings have complete obedience to and love of their royalty. Royalty have complete obedience to their role and purpose in carrying on their kingdom with benevolence. Protagonists consistently have an outward focus of selflessness.


Justice and Balance: A just distribution between good and evil (with good outweighing evil in the presence of the storyline); demonstration of right and wrong; making decisions to enact the above values rather than simply choosing from two bad possibilities; Ask yourself “Is the emphasis on the positive elements or negative?”


The story’s purpose is the battle of good vs. evil, beginning with the original battle in its prologue that sets the stage for the adventure that follows. It is a constant and fierce tug-of-war of power between the two factions with good winning. Then looking more deeply at the behaviour of characters therein, we see their personal struggle over good and evil, with those who lose sight of the good suffering real consequences. Losing people to evil is mourned, not celebrated or glorified. Thus the characterization of good and evil is pure, reflecting the Truth of absolute standards which exist in real life.



Aesthetic aspects Of life ExperienceLook for a storyline portrayal of beauty, health, and selfless love vs. hedonistic behaviours (sexuality, selfishness, obsessiveness, materialism), profanity, gore and violence. Are nature and environment respected or exploited? Look for dark elements; watch out for humor that is negative, denigrates others excessively, uses metaphors to denigrate the sacred.

This author’s narration makes the story highly enjoyable. The description of every event and action is rich, showing rather than telling us what is happening. It is fast paced and we move through quite a bit of story in less than 300 pages. It transitions well in spite of the fast-paced action. Reading about the medieval games engaged prior to Ardon’s departure brought memories of the modern day renaissance festivals taking place around the country in the US today, evidence of our inherent desire to fight and win that battle of good over evil as well as the value of classic entertainment which lives on forever. The description in this story is sufficiently rich to allow the reader to envision it in their mind and feel the action in their senses.



Other things to Consider:Other aspects of this book of interest or importance. For example, does it portray Wiccan practices and accurate use of tools of which some parents might object, does it contain hidden meanings in metaphors that may prove offensive to some families; does it address personal issues such as puberty or pregnancy.

Near its very end, Lucius tries to ‘have his way” with Llyoness; the situation implies this without unnecessary detail similar to how it would be handled in old movies.  Later when Joshua succeeds in overtaking Lucius, the story does get violent with concrete detail, but just for a few pages. Otherwise, its content is appropriate for all ages although the reading difficulty level would be appropriate for tweens/teens.

So what do YOU think? Read our thoughts on the book and join in the discussion: Litland's Blog   


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