I got this book as a free download on Amazon. In exchange, I offer the author this, my honest review.
A fifteenth birthday should be special, but for Reychel, what makes it special is that she is to be branded as the slave that she is. Awakening bright and early, first to have her head shaved (as slaves must do so that they may be identified easily), Reychel finds her best friend, Ivy, the one who was to accompany Reychel to her branding ceremony—missing. Left in her place is a coin. Reychel rightly concludes that someone from the outside has freed Ivy.
Reychel's owner will not allow her to see the clouds—except on those rare occasions when Reychel is called to him. The reader is presented with many questions. Why is Reychel the only one who is not allowed to see the clouds? What does the master want with Reychel? Will Reychel be freed before the dreaded brand is placed upon her? The answers to these and other questions are provided, and more questions are delivered, as the reader is brought along on a journey with Reychel and her new found friends, including some capable of wielding unusual magic.
Jensen presents a story complete with mystery, treachery and a bit of romance. For this reader, the betrayal was expected, the true “identity” of the master anticipated, and the romance not entirely believable, but the story was quick and refreshingly original. Anathema will bring YA readers to a satisfying conclusion even while offering them more questions to be addressed in the follow up parts to this series.