Book Highlight: The Unfettered Child by Michael C. Sahd

Book Review: The Unfettered Child by Michael C. Sahd - an updated review of this fantasy novel featuring family

Title: The Unfettered Child

Author: Michael C. Sahd

Publisher: Self-published

Publication Date: August 28, 2019

Genre: Fantasy

Her tribe is shattered. Her parents are gone.

When eight-year-old Samara faces the capture of her tribe, an unimaginable power awakens within her. Even as this magic threatens to consume her, a disembodied voice intervenes, offering guidance and helping her control these newfound abilities.

Meanwhile, Samara’s father chases his wife’s captors across an unfamiliar terrain. But can Orin find his wife in time to save her? Will Samara learn to control her power and reunite with her family? And who is the mysterious entity traveling with her?

Why This Book

The Unfettered Child mostly follows a young girl as she journeys to be reunited with her father, not knowing that the voice she follows does not have her best interests at heart. At it’s heart, The Unfettered Child is a lovely story of family and really focuses on a tribal world, though there are more Western elements that Samara encounters as she travels.

The Unfettered Child is told mostly from Samara’s young perspective. In many ways she really is very much a young child, scared and desperate to find her family after the destruction of her tribe. It was fantastic to watch her grow over the course of the novel, but also retain the childishness that endeared me to her in the first place. Despite being about a child, I wouldn’t call The Unfettered Child a book for children, so I really liked how it was written for an older, more adult audience, but still managed to be well-told by a child character.


My review: “I liked that Samara was the lead character. The story worked because it’s primarily from the viewpoint of a young child. However, she was very one note. Even though she’s a child, I expected her to grow and mature as the lead character. Sadly, that didn’t happen. Instead, I felt she cried a bit too much just to get out of tough situations”

My (updated) review: “I liked the ARC, but this is much better. The writing is tighter, more descriptive, and more complex. It has a maturity to it that really resonated well with me. I found myself enjoying the characters, world, and story more”

Dream Come Review gave this 3 stars, saying “Sahd truly convinced me that I was reading about an eight-year-old and it was disturbing to watch her play with magic and being manipulated by that twit in the gem”

Mrs. Brown’s books rated this a 3, saying “I eventually found that I did not really care about Samara and her fate, even though, on reflection, I do still believe that the story is interesting. Furthermore, I found the ending a surprise and one that regained my interest”

Purchase Links

Amazon | Bookshop | Better World Books | Waterstones (UK) | Google Books

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