Embattled tells the story of Miracle Madame, a woman who begins showing up during acts of violence against the oppressed all over the globe. She walks in to the middle of a conflict without being harmed and miraculously stops the violence by persuading armies, oppressors, and murderers of all types to give up their weapons and negotiate peace. No one know who she, where she came from or how she does it. Not even Miracle Madame.
Known as Em by the two who love her, the Power who controls her and the man who becomes obsessed with her, she only knows that this is what she does. She doesn’t remember a normal life or how she came in to this ‘job’, only that she must do it. She is a normal woman who longs for friends and someone to lean on but the Power who communicates to her through a ring does not answer her questions. Questions about herself and who she is or why she was chosen to be a savior. She worries her mission to end war will actually be detrimental to the world in the future and she worries that every decision she makes will backfire and cause even more strife.
Yves is the Power who is tasked with Earth and is the one who chose Em to be the one who carries out his objectives for Earth. As time goes on, Em begins making her own decisions and doing very well. Yves, who is from a society that shows no emotion, begins to fall in love with her. When he starts seeing Ron, a man who has become obsessed with Em through the news, he becomes jealous.
Eventually Em begins dreaming of another life, a life where she is normal. Bits and pieces of that existence start bleeding through to her life as Miracle Madame and she realizes she is living a double life but has no idea who her other self is. Wanting to discover herself starts to become a frightening thing when she meets and falls in love with Ron. They have so little time together and always a few days in many months because of the work she must do.
This story is interesting and has some wonderful moments but I did find a lot of the beginning to be confusing. I enjoyed the premise of the plot and it was exciting to see what Miracle Madame would do next but I could not connect with Yves, her ‘Power’ and his journey into human emotion. I didn’t empathize with him or his reality. As for Ron and his romance with Em, moments were sweet and I felt his anguish at Em’s work but he felt off-balance and a bit incapable. Em was a great character and in my opinion the story would have benefited from delving more deeply into her duality. I could see a series of books with Em and her struggle to do the right thing.
Here is the book summary:With blood on her hands, strange words coming out of her mouth, and her face all over the media, Em knows that she did stop the jungle battle, storm into the armed courtroom, face and defeat the zealot soldiers. But, “working” for the powers controlling her, she is haunted with not knowing about or being connected to her own life. And, at some point she will have to decide which of her two lives are her true destiny.
Yves, her controller has his own set of problems as a rookie learning to be a Power, trying to communicate with Em, facing her doubts and questions as well as his own, and struggling to control the onslaught of emotions that arise from his association with humans. He risks losing his chance for advancement, his chance to free his people, even his life, by falling in love with Em.
Overall an enjoyable read with moments of intensity and tenderness. An interesting look at human nature faced with God-Like abilities. Fantasy and Sci Fi readers as well as romance lovers should enjoy this as well.