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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
Igor Ljubuncic has offered the reading world an abundance of imagination and thought-provoking speculation in his novel The Betrayed. It is Book One of The Lost World Series and it is a magnificent start. In an ancient world, there are five provinces surrounding what is called the Safe Territories. Initially, the Gods ruled the provinces, with periodic fights erupting in the various areas. For the most part, the skirmishes were intended to flex the muscles of the ruling parties. But now, something evil is amiss. The Gods are dying off and in their place there is a new god named Feor. His name is being used to kill the innocent in the name of religion. The religious sect invades the Safe Territories and a neighboring province comes to try to stop the invasion. The leaders of the warring factions are the least likely of society. A prostitute named Adam arises to attempt to stop the religious invaders while a former criminal from the Safe Territories tries to counter the attacks of the invaders as well.
The characters in The Betrayed are fascinating people who are placed in extraordinary circumstances. Initially, they only hope to survive an impossible situations. But, as they gain a modicum of personal success and respect, they are literally transformed by author Ljubuncic from the truly lost of society to the leaders of a new type of world. I appreciated the detail in the story development as it could potentially have been a source of confusion for the reader. The downtrodden of society become heroes and those who chose to rule with reckless abandon eventually receive their just dues. This is a lightening-fast novel in which subtle political and religious messages abound. The messages begin to move the reader from long-held and rigid beliefs to the realm of what might be possible - if only.....