Blind Eye by Marilyn Todd

Blind Eye by Marilyn Todd
High Priestess Iliona #1
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (173 pgs)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Blackmailed into spying for Lysander, head of the hated Secret Police, High Priestess Iliona discovers that the threat to her country doesn’t come from their archenemy, Athens. It comes from deep within Sparta itself.

But as she investigates, the same thread keeps turning up. Of a one-eyed giant who lives in the hills. The legendary Cyclops. So who is this man who inspires such fear? A freak? A fraud? A felon? And what does his arrival have to do with the disappearance of several young women?

The traitor lurks much closer than Iliona suspects.

Iliona works very hard serving in the temple taking care of those who come to her for help, even the “lowest of the low.” She has a good heart, and it is very easy to like her. Living is Sparta is very good in some ways, but very harsh in others, and Iliona does what she can to ease suffering when she sees it. Unfortunately, some of the things Iliona does to help the people could get her in serious trouble if brought to the attention of the authorities. Lysander has been watching Iliona closely for a long time, and uses his knowledge to trap Iliona into spying for him.

Lysander is a complicated individual. I disliked him immediately, but as the story progressed, Ms. Todd revealed some things about his history that made me rethink my original assessment. While I certainly don’t condone all his actions, I will admit that there is much more to Lysander than I thought. Iliona and Lysander spend most of their time fighting rather than working together. They barely manage to be civil to each other. Once the traitor has been dealt with, Iliona has no desire to ever see Lysander again. Unfortunately, Lysander knows too many of Iliona’s secrets, and he has no intention of letting her off the hook any time soon. I wonder what Ms. Todd has in store for this pair in the next book?

The viewpoint changes a lot over the course of this story. While seeing events unfold through different characters was interesting sometimes, it was also distracting at others. I could never be sure how important some of the things I was reading were. Also, since there are so many switches, I don’t feel as if I got to know Iliona as well as I would have liked. I think switching between two or possibly three viewpoints would have kept things interesting and would have fostered deeper character development.

There are several mysteries to solve in this tale, and most of them have satisfying conclusions. However, one of them ends up being completely dismissed without any serious investigation. I was a little bothered by that. I also felt that the plan to expose the traitor was overly complex. There seemed to be easier ways of discovering who the traitor was, but by the end of the story, I better understood why that particular path was chosen. I will say that Ms. Todd did an excellent job of keeping the identity of the traitor hidden. Iliona is certain for a long time that she knows who the culprit is. As I read, I was inclined to agree with her even though there were a few things that concerned me. However, I was truly surprised when the traitor’s identity was revealed.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Blind Eye. Iliona and Lysander are interesting characters, and I look forward to learning more about them. I’ll be picking up the next book in the series very soon.

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