BEACON by Chess Desalls Book #2 Lantern series #YA #Fantasy Novella @Chessdesalls

Beacon (Lantern #2)Beacon by Chess Desalls
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beacon is book #2 of the Lantern series of young adult fantasy short stories. I read book #1 as part of the Darkness Echoes Halloween anthology in 2015.

Havenbrim is a medieval style village in Llum. Serah Kettel has been thrown out of her family home, and seeks an apprenticeship with Master Machin, a celestial mechanic and glazier. His home is filled with strange lanterns which glow with magical light. Serah’s job is to dust the lanterns and to work out a puzzle: just how does the light get in?

With the help of moonlight, Serah discovers herself inside a globe in a far off land. This place is very strange for Serah and she’s not sure this is where her future lies. She uses a magical doorway to return home, but much time has passed since she left.

Book #1 left many questions about Master Machin, some were answered here, although, with the length of the story, there are plenty more questions left unsolved. For myself I wanted a deeper storyline to sink my teeth into and more character explanation, however I am aware that I am reading a book intended for the YA market.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

When Serah’s life in Havenbrim becomes unbearable, she accepts an apprenticeship with a celestial mechanic and glazier. Her master assigns her the task of opening a globe framed in copper. But the glass and seal are unbreakable. The solution to the puzzle traps Serah inside the globe, and transports her to a world where she longs for home.

About the author

Chess Desalls

Chess Desalls is the author of the YA time travel series, The Call to Search Everywhen. She’s a longtime reader of fantasy and sci-fi novels, particularly classics and young adult fiction. Her nonfiction writing has led to academic and industry publications. She’s also a contributing editor for her local writing club’s monthly newsletter. The California Writers Club, South Bay branch, has awarded two of Chess’ stories first place for best short fiction. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys traveling and trying to stay in tune on her flute.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE MAGICIAN’S WORKSHOP by @HansenFehr #YA #Fantasy

Today’s team review is from Karen, she blogs at http://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Karen has been reading The Magician’s Workshop by Christopher Hansen and JR Fehr

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My Opinion

This book introduces you to a group of kids living in the magical islands of O’Ceea. Most of them are dreaming of receiving their colour, being accepted at the Magician’s Workshop, i.e. being allowed to officially create projections.

With The Magician’s Workshop, Volume 1, authors Hansen and Fehr have created a wonderful fantasy story not only for teens and young adults. It is a very enjoyable and compelling read, drawing you in as you learn more about Kai and the other kids and their clans. Hansen and Fehr carefully elaborated the characters, and their stories and interactions, still leaving the readers room for imagination; I simply adore the blue wallaroo. I was drawn rather close to the kids – it was fun being an invisible friend. The characters are of sufficient depth, believable with their flaws and virtues; the authors’ care for each of them shows. The story is very nicely woven and has a wonderful flow. Now I am eager to read volume 2!

This is a book for you if you like magic, urban fantasy, believable and very likeable characters, and/or the teen and young adult genre.

Recommended!

Book Description

Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop. 

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.

About the authors

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The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday. “Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.” Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.

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When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT MIDNIGHT SISTERS by @saraheboucher #FairyTale #Fantasy

Today’s team review is from Barb she blogs at http://barbtaub.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Barb has been reading Midnight Sisters by Sarah E Boucher

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What is it about fairy tales that keeps us coming back to them, reimagining their details and reinventing their meanings with almost every generation? University of Chicago professor Armando Maggi who studies fairy tales, says:

We cannot live without mythology. It’s the way we reason, the way we survive, the way we make sense of our world. It’s just that the stories we’ve been using—mythic stories, fairy tales, legends—they’re not working anymore. We need something new. What we long for is a remythologization of reality. (—Armando Maggi, University of Chicago Magazine, 11 June, 2012)

 

But I’m not sure I agree with his thesis that our search will take us away from fairy tales. Indeed, if you follow his research into the earliest versions of familiar tales, one thing that’s clear is that while each generation may change the trappings and socially acceptable details of a story, the basic themes and stories keep reappearing.

Take The Twelve Dancing Princesses, the original fairy tale reimagined by Sarah Boucher in her new release, Midnight Sisters. A relatively recent addition to the fairy tale genre, its first documented versions were collected by the Brothers Grimm in 1812. There were also similar versions, such as Katie Crackernuts and others. But by the next generation, the tale was already being changed to gloss over bits deemed offensive by Victorian readers—such as Andrew Lang’s version where death sentences for the princesses’ prior suitors disappeared.

The tale, as reimagined in Midnight Sisters, is told from the point of view of Jonas, a teenage gardener newly-hired at the estate of the Earl of Bromhurst. Jonas is more worried about pleasing his boss than he is about the strict rules around avoiding the Earl’s twelve beautiful daughters. That’s until he meets Ariela, the eldest sister. The tale jumps forward a decade, and the now mature Jonas is completely (although hopelessly) in love with Ariela. Meanwhile, the sisters—who have grown increasingly frustrated by a restricted lifestyle from which the only escape seems to be into marriages with unappealing suitors—have found a way to escape, if only temporarily. Naturally, the discovery that his daughters have disappeared without (apparently) leaving the castle, has the Earl frantic.

Jonas, who is equally worried about the sisters’ safety, decides to try to spy on them to see where they have been disappearing. In this, he reluctantly accepts the help of Braden, a new young gardener who reminds him of his own younger brothers at their worst and best. Their fears, it turns out, are well-founded, and the two must risk their jobs and their very lives in a desperate rescue.

I enjoyed so many aspects of this retelling. The decidedly working class young gardener, Jonas, makes an engaging narrator. With his unsophisticated country background, he seems unimaginative at times, but his unwavering love and loyalty are endearing. The brash, flashy Braden is hiding secrets of his own, but it’s nice to watch as cautious Jonas is slowly won over.

There were pieces that I would have liked to see developed further. The abrupt gap between Jonas meeting Ariela and the later action in the book meant that we were told about their relationship, but we were never actually shown any of the details of how an aristocrat falls in love with a gardener. That lack made it difficult for me to get invested in the lovers’ plight, and made the first half of the book seem slow. The author glossed over the (somewhat unavoidable) sexism in which the sisters must be saved by the heroes and ‘rescued’ into marriage. And the huge cast meant that most of the sisters could only be portrayed as tropes and stereotypes.

But the second half did turn into a nice mystery thriller, with Jonas and Braden stepping somewhat uncomfortably into the role of heroes. There was even a most unconventional fairy godmother figure. And the ending was tied up with a twist in the very best fairy tale tradition, ensuring that most essential of elements: the happily-ever-after.

Midnight Sisters is an undemanding and entertaining retelling of a favorite fairy tale, and suitable for readers from YA to adult. I would give it 3.5 stars, and recommend it for anyone looking for an enjoyable romantic story.

Book Description

Do not meddle with the master’s daughters.

The words rattle around Jonas’s head. What is the punishment again? Death? Dismemberment? Jonas, the newest addition to the gardening staff, can’t recall the exact penalty for breaking the rule. What does it matter anyway? He would never dream of meddling with the Earl of Bromhurst’s haughty daughters. 

Until he comes face to face with Lady Ariela, the eldest of the Master’s daughters. 

Her elusive smile and open manner cause him to question his convictions. In no time, he’s drawn into Lady Ariela’s world of mystery and intrigue, a world where she and her sisters will do anything—including leaving twelve empty beds at midnight—to escape their father’s strict rules.

Only Jonas can uncover the truth and save them from their father’s wrath and their own folly, if he is willing to risk everything he’s ever worked for.

About the author

Meet Sarah Mild-mannered kindergarten teacher by day and self-proclaimed scribbler by night, Sarah's inner fairytale junkie takes center stage with the release of her novels Becoming Beauty and Midnight Sisters. The discovery of a mystery about pants (penned in the second grade) reveals both her lifelong love of storytelling and cute clothes. With countless stories about makeovers cluttering up her hard drive and a walk-in closet bursting with sassy high heels and handbags, Sarah's obsession with dressing up is unmatched. That, paired with her interest in fairytales, led to the birth of Bella, the heroine of Becoming Beauty. When she's not embroiled in either teaching or penning a new tale, cheesy music, movies that cause her to snort while laughing, baking (especially if chocolate is involved), and more British television than anyone this side of the Atlantic has any business watching, keep Sarah entertained. A native Utahn, Sarah graduated from Snow College and Brigham Young University. She currently lives and teaches in northern Utah.

Meet Sarah
Mild-mannered kindergarten teacher by day and self-proclaimed scribbler by night, Sarah’s inner fairytale junkie takes center stage with the release of her novels Becoming Beauty and Midnight Sisters.
The discovery of a mystery about pants (penned in the second grade) reveals both her lifelong love of storytelling and cute clothes. With countless stories about makeovers cluttering up her hard drive and a walk-in closet bursting with sassy high heels and handbags, Sarah’s obsession with dressing up is unmatched. That, paired with her interest in fairytales, led to the birth of Bella, the heroine of Becoming Beauty.
When she’s not embroiled in either teaching or penning a new tale, cheesy music, movies that cause her to snort while laughing, baking (especially if chocolate is involved), and more British television than anyone this side of the Atlantic has any business watching, keep Sarah entertained.
A native Utahn, Sarah graduated from Snow College and Brigham Young University. She currently lives and teaches in northern Utah.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE MAGICIAN’S WORKSHOP by @HansenFehr #YA #Fantasy

Today’s Team review is from Jessie, she blogs at http://behindthewillows.com

#RBRT Review Team

Jessie has been reading The Magician’s Workshop by Christopher Hansen and J.R Fehr.

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Having loved fantasy for many years I’m often startled by people who complain about books that dump them into a new world without explaining things. Personally, jumping headfirst into a new mysterious world is one of my favorite ways to start a book.  But the authors of The Magician’s Workshop understand that not everyone (particularly young readers) may enjoy such a thing.  So they start with a bit of a disclaimer as the preface, likening trying a new book to starting summer camp. It might seem scary and uncertain, and you might not know if you’ll like it but you should try it because chances are good you will love it!

Sadly, no doubt because Mom suggested she read it, it didn’t sway my daughter.

Which is too bad because, for a young girl who likes reading books with magic in them, I still think she’d like this one.

The Magician’s Workshop dumps you straight into a pile of characters living in their crazy island world where everyone can work magic. And as the characters go about life projecting magic images, flavors and smells, the authors slowly start to introduce some of the difficulties that come in such a fantastical world. What do you think? Would you bother eating real fruit if you could eat something that tasted like fruit instead?

Would I recommend it? For a magic loving pre-teen/teen audience these books could be just the ticket. And, although I have no credentials to back it up, (remember me? I’m a woman with three daughters) I think that boys would really like these books too.  Fair warning, as it says in the beginning, this is the first of a series of books that is more like a television series. Which is true, at the end there is no real conclusion or even a cliff hanger, just a fade out until you start the next book (which is okay because volume two is available on Amazon already!).

Book Description

Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop. 

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.

About the authors

20091128-IMG_2801-min2

The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday. “Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.” Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.

Untitled-4-min

When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.

Goodreads | AmazonUk | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE SORCERER’S GARDEN by @DWallacepeach #Fantasy

Today’s team review is from Suzanne, she blogs at https://suzannerogersonfantasyauthor.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Suzanne has been reading The Sorcerer’s Garden by D Wallace Peach

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My Review

Wow, this was a breath-taking adventure that barely stood still.

I was intrigued by the title and the blurb really stood out for me, anything to do with writing and writers and I’m sold! As I started reading, possibilities whirled through my mind…

The start of the story felt a little over the top in the action sense. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but then I realised this was the start of Cody’s story – his tale of slaying the dragon with his brother. I thought this was very cleverly done by the author. This larger than life action helped to distinguish between Madlyn’s real world and Cody’s work in progress. However, as the story developed everything becomes more complicated for Madalyn and soon the two worlds are colliding and you have no idea what is real and what is part of the world within Cody’s story. I was as confused as Madlyn, but that wasn’t an issue, it made the reading experience more exciting. The only complaint I have is that the action was so full on and constant, sometimes I just needed a breather.

I liked Madlyn, but I really liked the two brothers, Cody and Dustin, and their mysterious grandmother, Lillian.

I loved the end. Everything came together and not as I was expecting it too. I was very happy with the conclusion, and the fact this was a standalone novel. But there could easily be more to this story and these characters.

My final thought – The author showed great skill weaving this tale. It was a very enjoyable read, if not a little exhausting!

I recommend to anyone who enjoys fantasy and loves a story with relentless pace.

4 stars

Book Description

Recently fired and residing with her sweetly overbearing mother, Madlyn needs a job—bad. In a moment of desperation, she accepts a part-time position reading at the bedside of adventurer and amateur writer Cody Lofton. A near-drowning accident left the young man in a vegetative state, and his chances of recovery wane with each passing day.

Cody’s older brother, Dustin, and eccentric grandmother aren’t prepared to give up on the youngest son of Portland, Oregon’s royalty.

Dustin’s a personable guy, bordering on naïve, and overwhelmed by familial corporate duties and cutthroat partners. Grandmother Lillian’s a meddler with an eye for the esoteric, dabbling in Dustin’s life and dealing out wisdom like a card shark. One innocent conversation at a time, she sucks Madlyn into the Lofton story, dubbing her the princess and bestowing on her the responsibility of both grandsons’ destinies.

And all Madlyn wanted was a simple reading job.

Uninspired by her self-imposed stack of literary selections, Madlyn opts for Cody’s work-in-progress. Fantasy isn’t her favorite, but with only four chapters completed, reading The Sorcerer’s Garden should be no sweat, right?

Little does she realize, the story will begin writing itself and, by the hand of destiny, become her own.

About the author

D. Wallace Peach

I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit.

Tolkien … literally changed my life.
I love to write. It’s a luxury I never expected I’d have time for – life got in the way. You know how that goes – kids, work, chores… sleep. I worked for 18 years in business where amassing coin was the all-consuming objective. It required huge amounts of time and mental energy. And for me personally, it was soul-slaying.

Then on September 11, 2001 two planes flew into the World Trade Center. I was working in Connecticut, about 2 hours from ground zero, and remember sitting in a conference room, watching the second tower fall. 

That tragedy initiated a process of redefinition for me, an evaluation of what was vital and important. Life felt short and precarious, and I started to wonder if it was time to do something that actually mattered. I began to write.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT ROOTS ENTWINE by Victoria Bastedo Fable style #Fantasy @vickybastedo

Today’s team review is from Olga she blogs at http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

#RBRT Review Team

Olga has been reading Roots Entwine by Victoria Bastedo

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My review:

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team and I obtained a free ARC copy of the novel through the group. I voluntarily chose to write this review.

I am not the biggest reader of YA fiction, although on occasion I read it and enjoy it. I’m not a big reader of fantasy either but something in the description of this book intrigued me.

The story of Joaquin and his adventures, although told in the third person, is narrated from his point of view. At fifteen, he is not a typical teenager (if there’s such a thing), as he’s different to the rest of his family (he’s blond and has blue eyes, and as he’s also a second child, it turns him into the victim of family legend, and he becomes a secret, somebody who must hide in the forest and whom nobody outside of the family knows exist). The story is set in a world that’s different to ours (it appears less technologically advanced, as people walk or ride horses only, and don’t seem to have any ways of communicating other than sending messengers to each other), with different kingdoms that live by different laws and rules, and have little relationship with each other. To Joaquin’s forest arrives a stranger from another kingdom, looking for a man to join his expedition. Although Joaquin is not a man yet, he has something the stranger wants. Because Joaquin is not different by his looks only, but he also has a ‘gift’ or ‘curse’ (depending on how one looks at it). He’s a Phoshat. He has the ability to open up his senses and perceive smells, hear things, notice vibrations… very far away. He’s not the only one with such power, but he’s selected to go on a mission to stop a dangerous villain.

The book is a quest (if you’re familiar with Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, it fits perfectly with his description of the monomyth), a bildungsroman (where Joaquim, who’s lived having little contact with others, learns how to become a member of a team, and how to be a man), and has elements of the fairy tale (the special powers that are not exclusive to Joaquim, the different kingdoms, the magical trees, the legends…). A fascinating aspect of the story is the duality of Phoshat. It is a gift, as it allows Joaquin to experience things more intensely, and can be put to use helping others, but it comes at a price. Every time Joaquin uses it, he feels ill, to the point where he’s unable to do anything and has to rest and sleep, for hours or even days at a time. There’s also the risk that if he overuses it, he might lose his mind or die. Throughout the book we also discover that Phoshat is neither good nor bad in itself; it depends on how the person uses it.

Joaquim, despite being a Phoshat, is a young boy, fairly naïve, curious and impulsive, as it pertains his age (well, at least in the world where the story takes place. It’s very difficult to imagine a boy of fifteen with so little exposure to the world nowadays), but he’s also intelligent and learns quickly. He makes mistakes, he gets fed-up with the members of his team, whom he doesn’t understand at first, and who mistrust him because of his age and his abilities.

The story is told at a leisurely pace, and although they get involved in a number of adventures, those are not gripping and edge-of-your-seat extraordinary events (mostly to do with Joaquin trying to learn to control his gift and earning the trust of his companions) but a part of the journey. Towards the end, things pick up as Joaquin and his friends are in real danger and he gets to prove himself (I don’t want to share any spoilers but there’s a very good twist).

There are interesting names to go with the story (although they are all different enough to not result confusing), and enough descriptions to give a flavour of the places without going over the top. For me, the most interesting passages were the ones describing how Phoshat works, and also the special connection between Joaquin and the trees and forest.

The novel can be read as a straight fantasy adventure, but it also works as a fable to illustrate the ills of the lack of tolerance and the failure to accept those who aren’t like “us”, and also as a tale to remind us that together we can achieve much more than as individuals, no matter how special we think we are.

I was slightly disappointed by the fact that there weren’t many female characters and those that appeared played very traditional roles (mothers, daughters, wives…) There is a young girl, Malaya, who takes an interest in Joaquin (it’s mutual), and she speaks her own mind and is quite rebellious, but she does not step outside the constraints of her ‘feminine’ role. I know perhaps it’s become a rule that girls are the protagonists of many stories, but I missed them having more than a bit part.

An interesting story, for those who enjoy taking their time getting to know the characters, reminiscent of the fairy tales of yesteryears.

Book Description

Hidden in the trees is a boy with a mysterious past and powerful ability—will the team that found him have to watch him die?

15-year-old Joaquin can hear a man’s heart beating a half a mile away. He can see in the dark when others are stumbling. One whiff and he can tell what was served for yesterday’s dinner. But then he needs near-coma sleep to heal his brain from the searing pain. He’s a Phoshat, and his ability comes with a price.

Rumors spread about the mysterious Phoshat living in the forest around his family’s estate. Then Kallum comes, the tall stranger who leads a mission team for the king. He’s determined to add a Phoshat to the list of talents that his team boasts. He takes on the responsibility of a teenaged, untested Phoshat, and they set out, but soon it’s evident that Joaquin’s gift is so powerful that it almost swings out of control. As their journey goes on and unconsciousness overwhelms Joaquin over and again, Kallum begins to question whether Joaquin is ready for the dangerous mission that’s growing more intense every day.

Joaquin wonders too. Why was he born different than everyone else?

Roots Entwine is a young adult fantasy adventure. A tree standing alone shades no one, but entwining his life with his team moves Joaquin towards the inevitable choice he must make for them. It’s up to him to decide what the sum of his life will be, and if his inborn ability will be a curse to him or the gift that saves his friends.

AmazonUk | AmazonUS | Goodreads

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE SORCERER’S GARDEN by @Dwallacepeach #Fantasy

Today’s team review is from Jessie, she blogs at http://behindthewillows.com

#RBRT Review Team

Jessie has been reading The Sorcerer’s Garden by D Wallace Peach

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I have a new belief.

The word “entrails” should not be used more often than necessary, possibly never and certainly not more than once a book.

I’m not sure how often “entrails” was mentioned in The Sorcerer’s Garden but it was, per my new belief, too many times.

I am well aware that not everyone has the same beliefs as me (My own husband, for instance, can not seem to grasp the fact that sheets should never be tucked into the bottom of the bed when you go to sleep or your feet will suffocate in the confined space). To each his own. If you are of the type that does like such things, I have a book here for you that is chock full of amazingly detailed, exciting, graphic fight scenes, complete with gushing blood, rolling heads and… entrails.

If you have a similar belief system as I do, I have a book here that is hard to put down. There is a story within the story and when the main character starts showing up in the story within the story, well even a bit of entrails couldn’t stop me finding out what happened next.  And if that sentence confused you a little bit, I understand, it was a little bit confusing, but in a good muddled-for-a-purpose sort of way.

Would I recommend it? Here’s the thing, entrails aside, I didn’t love the wrapping up of the plot. Not the actual ending, that was great, but the part that would have been the Clue master proclaiming “It was Mr Green in the conservatory with the lead pipe!”  Which was sad because the rest of the book was engaging with likable characters and sprinkled with humor. But who knows, maybe it was just me. I always was more of a Colonel Mustard type, perhaps you’ll like it, just watch out for those entrails!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Book Description

Recently fired and residing with her sweetly overbearing mother, Madlyn needs a job—bad. In a moment of desperation, she accepts a part-time position reading at the bedside of adventurer and amateur writer Cody Lofton. A near-drowning accident left the young man in a vegetative state, and his chances of recovery wane with each passing day.

Cody’s older brother, Dustin, and eccentric grandmother aren’t prepared to give up on the youngest son of Portland, Oregon’s royalty.

Dustin’s a personable guy, bordering on naïve, and overwhelmed by familial corporate duties and cutthroat partners. Grandmother Lillian’s a meddler with an eye for the esoteric, dabbling in Dustin’s life and dealing out wisdom like a card shark. One innocent conversation at a time, she sucks Madlyn into the Lofton story, dubbing her the princess and bestowing on her the responsibility of both grandsons’ destinies.

And all Madlyn wanted was a simple reading job. 

Uninspired by her self-imposed stack of literary selections, Madlyn opts for Cody’s work-in-progress. Fantasy isn’t her favorite, but with only four chapters completed, reading The Sorcerer’s Garden should be no sweat, right? 

Little does she realize, the story will begin writing itself and, by the hand of destiny, become her own.

About the author

D. Wallace Peach

I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit.

Tolkien … literally changed my life.
I love to write. It’s a luxury I never expected I’d have time for – life got in the way. You know how that goes – kids, work, chores… sleep. I worked for 18 years in business where amassing coin was the all-consuming objective. It required huge amounts of time and mental energy. And for me personally, it was soul-slaying.

Then on September 11, 2001 two planes flew into the World Trade Center. I was working in Connecticut, about 2 hours from ground zero, and remember sitting in a conference room, watching the second tower fall. 

That tragedy initiated a process of redefinition for me, an evaluation of what was vital and important. Life felt short and precarious, and I started to wonder if it was time to do something that actually mattered. I began to write.

Twitter | Goodreads

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT PHOENIX by @DaccariBuchelli #YA #Fantasy #SundayBlogShare

Today’s Team Review is from Suzanne, she blogs at https://suzannerogersonfantasyauthor.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Suzanne has been reading Phoenix by Daccari Buchelli

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Phoenix is a fantasy book and book #1 of the Peradon series. It opens with immediate intrigue as a seer tells Emperor Jugan of a future marriage between his eldest son and their enemy. To avoid this fate, the Emperor decides to have Violetta assassinated. This sets in motion events that drive the story and greatly affects Violette’a life.
There are lots of good ideas in this book but several seem rushed and I longed for them to be developed deeper for the reader to understand. I also struggled to get my head around the different kingdoms, I wanted the writing to give me a clearer picture. I’m sure the author has a brilliant image of his fantasy land in his head, I just couldn’t see the pictures he wanted me to see.
There is a large cast of people and places to remember from the start. I’m not sure it was necessary to introduce them all at once, better perhaps to slow down the action and drip the characters into the storyline, so the reader stands a chance of really knowing the main characters from the beginning.
There’s definitely a good story in here, it just needs a bit of a re-write to sort out some of the weaker areas of the plot, head hopping on occasions by the characters and tweaking of punctuation errors. There are also a few minor formatting errors with regard to the unnecessary indenting of first paragraphs of new chapters and scenes, which is easy to resolve and doesn’t detract from the story.
I think another run through edit would vastly improve things from a readers point of view.
With a little more work, I think this is an author to watch out for in the future.
My rating 3 stars
Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE FAIR & FOUL by @alliepottswrite #SciFi #Fantasy #fridayreads

Today’s Team Review is from Teri, she blogs here http://teripolen.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Teri has been reading The Fair & Foul by Allie Potts

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Juliane has a supercomputer for a brain and she isn’t afraid to use it. Perhaps she should be.

Juliane Faris is a brilliant programmer determined to change the world through scientific and technical advancement. Blinded by ambition, she will do whatever it takes to secure her legacy including agreeing to participate in an experimental procedure. The procedure grants her unprecedented knowledge and cellular control over her body but threatens everything she holds dear including her sanity. When others undergo the same modifications it becomes apparent that not everyone can afford the price that this technology demands

Set in the not too distant future, The Fair & Foul is earth-based science fiction dealing with the next era of human evolution. The line between humanity and technology is blurring, and what seems like magic is only a scientific discovery away.

My Review:  I’m such a groupie for books involving any kind of genetic manipulation – the scientific aspects fascinate me.  If you read the description above, you can see why this one grabbed my attention.

In this novel, there are characters seeking scientific and technical advancements for the right reasons, and those who are only looking out for themselves – which provide some compelling and interesting conflicts.  As a woman, Juliane deals with her share of struggles and roadblocks, but her determination to succeed in her field is admirable.  The author does a wonderful job of making the reader feel as frustrated and confused as Juliane over certain plot developments.  The supporting characters are varying degrees of likable and loathsome and although I was convinced I knew who was trustworthy and who had ulterior motives, I was proven wrong.  It’s nice when that happens.

Juliane is a strong, ambitious woman, so it’s disappointing when an attractive guy shows up and she seems to lose focus – but I’m not a fan of romance novels, so that’s a personal preference on my part.  At times, the dialogue is somewhat stilted, and the addition of contractions would make conversations sound more natural.

The ending just blew me away and is a perfect launching pad for book two in this series.  If you’re a fan of though-provoking sci-fi, this is your book.

I received a copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team in exchange for an honest review.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT HAVEN by Katherine Bogle @KattyB3 #SundayBlogShare

Today’s second team review is also from Karen she blogs at http://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Karen has been reading Haven by Katherine Bogle

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My Opinion

This book introduces you to princess Haven; when her parents and brothers are killed, the immortal young woman needs to deal with war and an evil adversary.

With Haven, Katherine Bogle has created a fairytale-like fantasy story with more than a hint of romance and dark magic. It is a quite enjoyable and intriguing read; it felt like listening to a fairytale. Katherine Bogle paints a clear picture of Haven’s mind while the story evolves. Haven’s character develops nicely, growing with her tasks and/or obstacles – thus changing from being irritating to appreciated. The characters are of sufficient depth when required. I loved the wordplay regarding one of her female guards: Lareina (Spanish:  La Reina = The Queen). The story is nicely woven and has a good flow. I am looking forward to the second book in the series.

This is a book for you if you like fantasy, fairytales, and stubborn protagonists.

Recommended.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com