📚Book #1 of A #Fantasy Series. Rosie’s #Bookreview Of The Summer Of Festival: Song Of The Druids by Maddie Jane.

The Summer of FestivalsThe Summer of Festivals by Maddie Jane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

The Summer Of Festivals: Song Of The Druids is book one of a fantasy story based around an island said to be the home of banished druids.

Nineteen-year-old Alyosha Kamenev has a secret; drawn to the druid island and desperate for answers, he borrows a boat and sails to the island where he hopes to find some help.

The island is a place of horrors and a mix of strange people; some with magical skills, others living a pre-technology life. Alyosha’s journey follows a quest style popular in many fantasy tales, although it is fairly slow-paced with pockets of action. The world building works well to a point, but there are a lot of characters to keep abreast of and I struggled to keep images of everything in my head.

One thing which bothered me was how large the island appeared, with days passing in travel yet only a small portion of the island being traversed. Perhaps I missed a space illusional element, like stepping inside Dr Who’s Tardis, but I imagined a small island which could be covered in a couple of days.

This is an okay story, there are lots of good descriptive passages, but the story and characters didn’t really grab me as much as I had hoped.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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Book description

Nineteen-year-old Alyosha Kamenev has lived in Isle Meridian off the coast of South Carolina since he was eight years old. Having fled as a refugee from his home country of Enriya after an invasion by neighboring Russia, he eventually learns to call a life in the tropics his own. Despite having the bright white hair of his people, Alyosha integrates fully into the culture of the Meridians, even moving in with his best friend, Loren Merrik, and his family during their middle school years.

When infidelity rattles the dynamic of the Merrik family and sends them down divergent paths from one another, Alyosha finds himself suffering from instability once again. Matters are complicated further when he has a lethal encounter with Loren’s uncle, Maiser Vance, which may or may not be responsible for a sharp decline in his health.

Now lonely and sick, Alyosha attempts the irrational to resolve the effects of the illness by pursuing the only clue left behind by Maiser — a single piece of paper written in a dead language of the Celtic Druids, and Isle Meridian’s sister island, All Saints Island, where the Druids have lived in isolation for over two centuries.

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🧙‍♂️’A yummy little booksnack’. Jenni reviews #Fantasy Short Stories by @rogersonsm, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT🧙‍♂️

Today’s team review is from Jenni.

Find out more about Jenni here https://jenniferdebie.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Jenni has been reading Fantasy Short Stories by Suzanne Rogerson

Book cover for Fantasy Short Stories by Suzanne Rogerson, set againsta a picture on an open book form a free photo from Pixabay.
Fantasy Short Stories by Suzanne Rogerson

Suzanne Rogerson offers delicious tastes of her two existing fantasy worlds, and a delectable hint of a third, in her recently released collection Fantasy Short Stories. The name may be a little obvious, but don’t let that fool you as these three original prequel shorts offer backstory for characters from Rogerson’s standalone, Visions of Zaura, her series, The Silent Sea Chronicles, and her yet-to-be-released Starlight Prophesies series.

As someone who has never encountered Rogerson’s work before, I was immediately struck by the accessibility of her fantasy worlds to the uninitiated. Yes, these are incredible lands with their own dense histories, cultures, and magic systems, but one does not need to be familiar with the novel or series from whence these tales sprang to grasp something of the characters and the perils they face. A mysterious assassin on the hunt, a prejudiced sect seeking to exile those born with magic, boatloads of foreign raiders invading a land with no clear motive—each a gripping little slice of what promises to be a gripping web of plots, intrigue, and mystic arts for those who venture on to read Rogerson’s full-length works.

Adding to these slices of original work, Rogerson also includes two full chapters from the openings of Visions of Zaura and The Lost Sentinel (The Silent Sea Chronicles #1) respectively, just to give readers a glimpse of how these short stories continue years, even decades, after the prequel concludes.

All in all, this short collection of Rogerson’s is a yummy little booksnack, sure to delight longtime fans of her work, and entice new readers into the fold.

4/5

Orange rose book description
Book description

A collection of stories featuring favourite characters from Visions of Zarua and ‘Silent Sea Chronicles’, plus a glimpse into the new series, ‘Starlight Prophecy’.

The Guardian
With an assassin picking off wizards one-by-one, Kalesh visits Cassima, a former student, hoping to persuade her to re-join the Royal Wizards and use their protection to keep her family safe.
Kalesh’s newest charge, Paddren, has strange visions which link to a past event known only to a select few. The knowledge hidden in Paddren’s visions is invaluable so Kalesh must guard the boy at any cost.
Can Kalesh keep his students off the assassin’s radar long enough for his order to stop the killer?

Garrick the Protector
Fifteen-year-old Garrick is helping at his uncle’s farm when his cousin’s illegal use of magic threatens the family’s safety.
Mara is in immediate danger from the Assembly who deem all magic as a threat. The only safe place for her is the Turrak Mountains where exiled mystics have found sanctuary alongside the island’s Sentinel.
Can Garrick get Mara to safety before the Assembly catch up with them?

War Wounds
Conscripted to fight off invaders, Calder finds the months of bloody battle unleash a sixth sense buried inside him.
Finally released from duty, he travels home and encounters a mysterious woman who insists his life is destined to serve a higher purpose. Calder rejects her claims, wanting only to return to a simple existence with his wife.
But can Calder pick up his old life when the powers within him have been stirred? And why does he feel such misgivings about his return?
All three stories give readers a tantalising glimpse into the fantasy worlds created by Suzanne Rogerson. 

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Links to:

Visions Of Zarua

The Lost Sentinel (Book #1 of The Silent Sea trilogy)

‘For fans of Dungeons and Dragons style adventures and comedic #fantasy’ @SueBavey reviews Waxing Lyrical by @AdamJacobBurge1

Today’s team review is from Sue. She blogs here https://suelbavey.wordpress.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Sue has been reading Waxing Lyrical by Adam Jacob Burgess

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Firstly I should state that Waxing Lyrical is a sequel and having not read the first book in the series I was a little at a loss as to the background relationships among some of the characters. However, this did not hamper my enjoyment of this irreverent tale of a determined lute-playing gnome called Sawsse. Sassy Sawsse is set on becoming the best musician in the world by winning an esteemed competition. Her quest to find a lyrics teacher called Órga Dán to help her on her path forms the main drive for her story arc. Her lyrics really do leave something to be desired at the beginning of the story!! Sawsse is a member of a guild called Actum Tempus and some of her fellow guild members, shape-shifting Ruby and Rangrim the dwarf accompany her on her quest, which eventually takes them to Athrú, home to the Valley of the Roaming Winds. Two other guild members, Larn and Corinne, have been sent to Athrú to investigate a magical scroll which has turned all of its readers into babies.

Meanwhile also in Athrú, a twelve-year-old girl called Agnes has been chosen by ‘The Magic’ to be the latest member of ‘The Twelve’ a gathering of the twelve most powerful mages, and finds herself with uncontrollable magical powers and no one to advise her on how to use them. She is also suffering from disturbing night terrors. These story arcs converge and Sawsse is left looking after Agnes while trying to meet her own deadline with Órga Dán.

The scene-setting in this short novel is imaginative and leads to an easily visualized world populated by gnomes, dwarves, goblins, ogres, trolls, imps and many other fantastical races, including a living mountain called Greg, a waistcoat-wearing stork and a bunch of necromancers:

“Thick snowflakes fell faintly there during winter, softly kissed the earth, and then remained untroubled for weeks. In other words, naff all ever happened on these serene lowlands. There wasn’t very much that could happen, because there wasn’t very much there. There were several farms, but the soil wasn’t rich enough to produce any decent crops, like cheesecorn, rhubarbham, and courgettes. Instead, the plains were blanketed with wildflowers like Silentus Witnessium, Broadus Churchus, and Morseus. Between the huge stretches of flowery fields ran long thin winding lanes. The road started in Pax, by the ruins of Zell, but when it reached the Tranquil Plains it split into myriad bridleways, pathways and laneways. It eventually did connect with the eastern side of Esh’areth, toward Dringle and the Bounce Lands, but it took a bum-achingly long time.”

Fans of British drama series will recognize the references in there and there were other similarly amusing references and puns peppered throughout the book. I particularly liked the name of Sawsse’s musical rival, the dwarf Vuvu Zela. There are also plenty of footnotes throughout the text which can break up the narrative but were more often hilarious. These footnotes are often snippets from the Gnomeopedia which is a little like the guide in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – a manual for gnomes handily explaining everything and everywhere.

As well as puns and humorous references, the book relies on many tried and trusted fantasy tropes: found family; an unlikely hero; a quest – and the author uses them expertly to craft a highly enjoyable and at times laugh-out-loud adventure. There are plenty of unexpected twists along the way.

I would recommend this book for fans of Dungeons and Dragons style adventures and comedic fantasy – but I would recommend starting with book 1 in the Actum Tempus Saga: In The Grip Of Time in order to fully do it justice!

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The second exciting, hilarious, excitingly-hilarious instalment in The Actum Tempus Saga.

All Sawwse wants is to find master lyricist Órga Dán, learn everything there is to know about lyrics and win Esh’areth’s premier talent competition. Instead, she finds herself face-to-face with terrifying sea monsters, lonely necromancers, war-forging Little Kings, and even a pernickety dragon…

Still, this is all par for the course when babysitting the most powerful wizard in the world.

Especially when she happens to be twelve years old.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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