The Last Messenger of Zitol

The Last Messenger of Zitol

by Chelsea Dyreng


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When Rishi is kidnapped and taken to Zitól, she faces an unthinkable future: she is to be sacrificed to appease the gods. To survive in this place, where greed, lust, and fear eclipse compassion, Rishi befriends the selfish and ignorant king, only to discover that he may not have the power to save her after all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781462118960
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Incorporated/CFI Distribution
Publication date: 09/01/2016
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

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The Last Messenger of Zitol 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
foxreads11 More than 1 year ago
The story is told by Nadal (The future king of Zitol). He starts off telling you that this book was written by him. He is conceited and self absorbed. He tells you about Rishi and that she is pure and nothing like him and that she has to die. Well that got my attention! But as the book goes on, he starts to grow on you. He has his own opinions on his future kingdom. But the Speakers have changed the way things are done over time and they basically run things and Nadal realizes that he is only a puppet and just stops trying. He tells the story of how Rishi became the last messenger of Zitol. Rishi lived on a remote island and her grandfather taught her to read and taught her values and virtue. The whole island was full of good people. Rishi was stolen from her island with some other young girls. They were going to be sold. They would either be the messenger or be concubines. The girls had no knowledge of this as they are innocent. While in captivity they learn some of their fate. One girl is raped. I really disliked their time in captivity. It was stressful to read and wished that part could have been shorter. Rishi becomes the messenger. She is tested and tried but Rishi remains steadfast in her virtue and her standards and accepts what her fate will be. She dislikes the people there but continues to hope and pray for help from the gods. She becomes friends with Nadal but they keep their friendship a secret. She teaches him to read and as he learns to read he gathers knowledge that changes the way he thinks and what he believes. He also starts to fall for Rishi. "When a person is kind and virtuous and displays honor and tolerance - such as you do- 'beauty' ceases to become a label that can come and go with your appearance. 'Beauty' is who you are. No matter what you look like, whether you are old or young, wide or thin, tall or short, blue eyed, brown eyed, or have one of each, that has no bearing on defining beauty. Even if you have a scar across your face, if your teeth fall out or if you lose your hair... your virtue makes you beautiful in a way that eclipses any physical trait. True beauty isn't a way to describe a person, it is a person." The story has a great moral to it! Rishi is an amazing character that you route for! I loved how Nadal changes over time! I cried! I laughed at Rishi’s brothers! I enjoyed the conversations that Nadal had with Leema. Ugh! I just loved everything but the sorrow with the girls in the middle of the book. I’ve been to Machu Picchu before and in my head it all took place there. It worked for me! If you like pagan rituals, holding your breath under water, islands, books about virtue, remaining steadfast in your belief, Evil leaders, and stories with sacrifices, temple gods, family, the color blue, being able to read, and then this might be for you!
Marie_Reads More than 1 year ago
I will admit that I haven't heard of Chelsea Dyreng, but when I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I had to have it. Let's be honest, there aren't many multicultural books in the YA world. Especially one that is rich in culture as this one. This is my first time reading anything by her. If her other book, The Cenote is anything like this one, I will have to pick it up! First, let's admire this book cover. How beautiful is this girl and her eyes? I need a poster of this cover to hang up in my room! The Last Messenger of Zitol is about a young woman named Rishi who is heldp captive/kidnapped in the city of Zitol. A city that has many great stories that have been told to Rishi by her grandfather. Rishi has been chosen as the messenger and will be sacrificed to the gods. The story is being told from different points of view. I loved how this was done because it gives you a first-hand look at how everyone is processing the events as they unfold. It gives the vivid imagery of everything playing out right in front of you. Rishi is the main character and she is my favorite character! We live in a world where girls need strong female role models. There aren't a lot of books, comics, or shows with a strong female lead. It's all slowly coming into play right now. Dyreng made sure that Rishi was strong, lovable, and relatable. This is why I loved this book! Everything about this book, from beginning to end, was absolutely exceptional. Rishi had that courage to fight for what she thought was pure and good. I cannot say enough how much I loved her character. This book was written exceptionally well which can only mean one thing, Dyreng did her research and she did it well. I hope to read more of her work in the future. I hope other authors can see what Dyreng has done and create more stories that are culturally correct and beautiful. Can we get a second book to this? I think this could be a fantastic duology. This book easily gets 5/5 stars. Well done Chelsea Dyreng, well done.
annasmama More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this story and especially liked Rishi and her brothers. It was cool to read a story that placed a lot of emphasis and value on sexual purity because that's not something you often see. It might make for a difficult read for someone with an abuse history or shame issues because of some of the content in the tale. One girl is raped during the story, though it's not graphically described. I liked the messages about sacrifice and love and felt like they were well-integrated into the story. I liked Dyreng's use of dreams in the tale as well. Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
WishEnd More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars Steeped in an ancient culture, THE LAST MESSENGER OF ZITÓL will take readers on a journey of danger and romance they won't soon forget. It's a story full of heartbreak, a people bent on violence, family and friendship, and a budding romance. Perfect for readers who enjoyed THE CENOTE or books with adventure, sacrifice, and love. One thing that strikes me about both of this author's books is how powerful they are and how she doesn't sugar-coat anything. This story was blunt and strong and beautiful. It showed the wildness of this culture and how morality shifted as the people became uneducated and selfish, everyone acting for themselves and for no one else. Then there is Rishi who has grown up in an island community where the exact opposite is true. Everything is about the community and the role each individual member plays. They work hard and love fiercely. There was such a stark contrast in this story, which worked perfectly for the way the characters and the story itself evolved. Rishi and Nadal. They are so naive in so many ways, but their hearts are open (although one of them is a little more stubborn in wanting to change than the other). It made me think about the type of person I would be if I was raised with being told and taught one thing, not learning to read, being fed lies my whole life, not having anyone who loved me to help or care, and then combining that with being almost completely unrestricted and rich. That is Nadal's past. Then there is Rishi who was raised almost completely opposite to that. Again, a stark contrast. It was interesting how their relationship began, grew, and changed. There were times I was annoyed with them here and there, but I also completely got it. This is definitely an emotional read. It is also quite dark and violent in places, which fits the story and the culture, so it all feels realistic to the situation. I connected easily with Rishi and Nadal and then wanted to cheer them on as the story progressed. There are parts that are shocking and terrible and then others that are so very sweet, making for a balanced story. In the end, was it what I wished for? Yes. This author has a way of completely immersing the reader in this ancient world and bringing characters to life. I can't wait to see what she writes next! Content: Innuendo, violence, sacrificial murder, referenced rape. Source: Received a complimentary copy from the author and publisher, which did not affect my review in any way.
Mandy More than 1 year ago
I neglected all cleaning and chores Saturday so I could finish reading Chelsea Dyreng’s The Last Messenger of Zitol. My bed wasn’t made, there were toys all over the floor, and I didn’t go grocery shopping, but I didn’t regret it. My couch hadn’t felt so comfortable and exciting in quite some time. Chelsea is someone I know personally, and she is my friend, but I would never give an embellished book review, even for a friend. I will honestly say that I loved this book. It took me a little while to really get completely enveloped in the story (I attribute that to being a tired, pregnant lady), but once I did, I couldn’t tear my eyes or emotions away. The story had many evil, dark, tragic, dangerous moments, but what was most compelling were the messages of truth woven throughout like a bright, intricate tapestry (I just thought I’d add a simple simile since this author loves them. Don’t worry – she is better than I am at them). At a certain point in the book, when our main characters (Rishi and Nadal) came together, helped, and learned from each other, I found myself folding down the corners of multiple pages, marking messages of wisdom, love and light. I could see clear parallels between Rishi’s gods and their teachings, to those of the Savior, Jesus Christ. The messages in this book are numerous and worthy of introspection. I was incredibly impressed by the Seven Songs, sung and recited throughout the book. Music truly does have such a powerful effect on the soul – from the lyrics, to the tune, to the heart of the person singing. The multiple dreams in the novel were also brilliantly crafted, as well as the descriptions of the landscapes and buildings in the book. I could feel that these were real beaches, jungles, and civilizations. The characters of the book were believable and real. Some were so fearsome or despicable, that you held your breath to find out what they were going to do next. Others were confusing in their intentions – sometimes you liked them and sometimes you really didn’t. Some were liars and only interested in lust and power. There were some who inspired awe and reverence from their wisdom and choices. Then there were the ones who were searching, and others trying to survive. I was pleased with how many of these characters went through changes of heart, a major theme of this book. All of their stories were different, but interconnected. Both of the main characters – Nadal, the future king of Zitol, and Rishi, the virtuous maiden chosen to be that year’s messenger of Zitol – were characters I learned to love and care about. Rishi was brave, loyal, virtuous, and full of integrity. She was forgiving, kind, and loving. Nadal was a lot different than her. He was more self-serving, prideful, and limited in his desire to help others. But, through his desire to learn, and his interactions with the beautiful Rishi, his heart and motivations slowly change. He too becomes a courageous person, willing to sacrifice for the benefit of others. The contrast of lust verses romance in the book was stark, as was the contrast of literal sacrifice verses inner sacrifice. There are so many subjects that can be discussed in a book club setting, and I am sure my book club will read this book together happily. See the rest of my review here: