Tag Archive: Fantasy


From Publisher’s Website

Magic has broken free over the Twelve Kingdoms. The population is beset by shapeshifters and portents, landscapes that migrate, uncanny allies who are not quite human…and enemies eager to take advantage of the chaos.

Dafne Mailloux is no adventurer–she’s a librarian. But the High Queen trusts Dafne’s ability with languages, her way of winnowing the useful facts from a dusty scroll, and even more important, the subtlety and guile that three decades under the thumb of a tyrant taught her.

Dafne never thought to need those skills again. But she accepts her duty. Until her journey drops her into the arms of a barbarian king. He speaks no tongue she knows but that of power, yet he recognizes his captive as a valuable pawn. Dafne must submit to a wedding of alliance, becoming a prisoner-queen in a court she does not understand. If she is to save herself and her country, she will have to learn to read the heart of a wild stranger. And there are more secrets written there than even Dafne could suspect…

My Review:

While the story does have romance in it, the romance doesn’t drive the story forward. This is a Fantasy novel that happens to have romance. Which is a nice departure from my typical Romance Novels. Fantasy has always been a favorite of mine. My first “adult” book in 4th grade was Andre Norton’s Beast Master.

This story is my favorite of the Twelve Kingdoms series. I love Dafne, probably because I can identify with her more than I could Andi, Ami, and Ursula. She is a bibliophile and relies on her book knowledge as a shield against the world. I wish I was the polyglot that she is. Dafne’s ability to assimilate languages is amazing.

Luckily for Dafne, that skill as well as her research skills, help her when King Nakoa decides to keep her. I enjoyed Dafne’s journey of learning the Nahanauian culture and discovering not only the history of the islands, but also history of Annfwn and possibly the Twelve Kingdoms. I would love to see more stories from Dafne’s point of view and what she is learning from that vast library and from her new friend.

As the etching on the knives Ursula gave Dafne says, “This is why it’s perilous to ignore a librarian.”

As you can tell, I loved this book. I’ve read it from start to finish a few times since I got it. I wish I knew why it took me so long to read a book by Jeffe.

I wonder if there will be a book about Jepp and Kral……

 

I give The Pages of the Mind a 5 Horseshoe rating.

 

The Pages of the Mind is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. It is also available from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.

 

Publication Details:

Author Jeffe Kennedy
Title The Pages of the Mind
Format Ebook
Length 432 Pages
Publication Date June 15, 2016
Publisher Kensington
ISBN 978-1-4967-0425-2

From Amazon’s Website

The Legend begins…

For centuries, stories of the Fae have been passed down from generation to generation throughout the Scottish Highlands. Over time, the truth of their existence was reduced to nothing more than childhood fairytales. Until now! On the eve of war between Good and Evil, Ella of Andor, the Fae Princess of Darkness embarks on a journey that would ensure her kingdom’s victory as prophesied. But in a twist of fate, Ella is led to the mortal world where she soon discovers a mystery about her past that could destroy everything she has ever known.

After returning home from battle against a neighboring clan, Laird Galen Graham stumbles upon an injured woman in desperate need of care and protection. Wanting to return her to her family becomes a difficult task when he discovers the lass cannot speak. While trying to solve the mystery behind who she is, Galen finds himself falling in love with a lass he knows nothing about.

Forced to return to the Fae world, can Ella stop the war threatening to destroy her kingdom, or will she give up her destiny to return to the man she has fallen for in the mortal world? After discovering the truth about the mysterious lass, will Galen be able to let her go?

Follow Ella and Galen’s fantastic journey filled with magic, danger, love, and mystery.

My Review:

Oh, where to start. In general the writing was good, as well as the character development. But this story had many issues. So many in fact that I almost quit reading the story multiple times. I did finish the book, but it was painful.

There are two sides to this story. There is the Fae realm and 15th Century Scotland. The Fae Realm was nicely created and well rounded. I could easily see the land and the creatures that were described. The history of the land was interesting and the author does a good job in making the reader want to stay in this realm and discover what happens to the people of it.

Then we get to the 15th Century Scotland. The number of items incorrect drove me nuts. I will admit that Scottish History is a big interest of mine and has been for a very long time. I usually don’t mind dialect in stories, but I felt that it was over used. There was at least one time where the author used the words dinna and no in the same sentence, causing the sentence to have a double negative.

The author also tended to use words that are not in common use and for one, the context wasn’t correct. At one point Galen tells his second to impose a cheminage for those who crossed his border. Cheminage is a fee traditionally applied to people taking items to market through a forest that is owned by a Lord. Very few clans would be able to man their entire border to collect this fee. The amount of money they would make compared to the man power needed makes it ridiculous. The economy of the Highlands in the 15th Century was still primarily barter based and due to poor roads, trade with others was not widely done. Trade and coins were common in strong economic centers like Perth, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, etc. The average person wouldn’t be carrying coin, therefore making the cheminage unrealistic.

Much to my surprise, we discover that the clan blacksmith and the clan healer lived ten miles from the clan seat. Why would you put these two very important people so far from the center of the clan? Typically both of these people would either live within the castle walls or just outside the walls. The average person walks at the speed of three miles per hour, and a walking horse averages four to five miles per hour, a distance of ten miles would not be covered at a trot or faster pace. At these speed averages, it would take people two and half to three and half hours to cover ten miles. No intelligent Laird would have these people so far from the largest grouping of clan members. Later in the story we discover that the armory is nine miles from the castle. Why isn’t within the castle walls?

At one point, Galen is planning on going to Stonehaven to visit the market because the trade ships would have come in that day or the day before. The author lets the readers know that Stonehaven is two hours from the castle. There are a few issues with this. First, the Laird would not have left to do the marketing. He would have a man who would do that and only a few times a year. By stating that Stonehaven is only two hours away, the author has stated that Stonehaven is closer than the clan blacksmith or healer. In the 15th Century, Stonehaven was a fishing village. It was never a trading port. The closest trading port was actually Aberdeen, which is north of Stonehaven. Even now, Stonehaven is still a fishing village but also relies on tourism for income. Then there is the name issue. Stonehaven did not get its name until the start of the 17th century. Stonehaven and much of the land around it was Clan Keith land. Another reason this whole scenario wouldn’t work is that trade ships wouldn’t attempt the North Sea in the winter. The sea is too treacherous.

When the author finally gave us a general idea where in Scotland the story was taking place, I discovered that the story is taking place over a hundred miles from where the author really wanted. Stonehaven is on the eastern coast of Scotland. During the story we learn that Galen’s clan Graham was having a feud with Clan MacGregor, and Galen was trying to forge an alliance with Clan Campbell and their Laird the Duke of Argyll. These clans never had land along the eastern coast of Scotland. For the most part, their lands were northwest of Glasgow, approximately a hundred miles from Stonehaven.

Imagine my surprise when I read the author biography at the end of the story and discovered that she has written three other Scottish Historicals.

I found that the relationship between Galen and Ella very platonic. Yes, Galen lusted after Ella but I never really felt that these characters fell for each other. The sex scene was not necessary to this story. It didn’t move forward the story or their relationship. It felt like the author went, “Wait, this is romance. It must have sex.” This story would have been just fine without the sex, especially since I feel that the characters didn’t have mutual desire for each other.

The end of the story was very abrupt. There were things not resolved in the Fae realm. How can Ella take the Queen’s offer and leave the Fae realm without completing a task she had set for herself? The author could have extended the story by having Ella and Galen working together. Even if they failed at the task, it would give a level of closure. Instead, Ella didn’t pursue the task and left it for others who looked to her for leadership. I realize that the author wanted to keep the task unfulfilled so she can have a series, but there should have been an attempt.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I give Legend of the Fae a 2 Horseshoe rating.

Legend of the Fae is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions.

Publication Details:

Author April Holthouse
Title Legend of the Fae
Format Ebook
Length 236
Publication Date March 2015
Publisher Self Published Through Amazon
ISBN 978-1-5077-6137-3

From Author’s Website

My name is Alana Devereaux. I enjoy the simple things in life, walks in the park, sky gazing, and ripping a demon’s heart out through its chest. I am a demon slayer, the last of my kind, and I have been sent back through time to save your world. How am I doing so far? My time travel went haywire, all the signs I needed to stop the prophecy have passed, and the only way I can save my world is by keeping yours from ending. Then there’s Gaelen, most days I want to deck him. He hides his true motives and if it was not for the intel he had, I would be rid of him. Any day in my life without a demon attack is a good day; I haven’t had a whole lot of those lately. The only problem is, if I don’t stop the Mutari, the world will burn.

My Review:

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and the premise of the book. I found the world interesting and definitely would like to read more about this world. I will be reading the prequel novella, and the sequel once it is published.

I’m not quite sure how to categorize this book. There is a dystopian Urban Fantasy future but then the main character is sent back in time to prevent the event that caused the dystopian future. I wouldn’t list it as a romance novel, because the relationship between Alana and Gaelen wasn’t the core of the story. The core was stopping the disaster that was coming. It was very similar to Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniel series, in that it has romance but it isn’t the driving force of the book.

I did find some issues. This novel could have gone through one more time with a copy editor. I found wrong words (using triskette instead of triskele) and some phrasing that didn’t make sense. There is one scene where there is a slight tense change during an observation that Alana makes and it makes is seem like she was comparing the situation to a previous time instead of seeing it for the first time.

This story is in the First Person Point of View, which I have no issues with, and I have no problem with switching between First and Third Person Point of View. (My favorite author jumps between the two regularly, but it is done by chapter usually.) My problem was the occasional jump to Third Person Point of View to provide information that the author felt was vital to the story. Since my first read through, I have read parts again, including a couple of the Third Person Point of View scenes. I’ve decided that the Third Person Point of View scenes are not needed. They really don’t provide information that the main character doesn’t figure out later, except for one scene which I still can’t figure out why the information was revealed in this book.

You might look at my rating and wonder why I gave the rating I did after listing the problems I found. Well, let me explain it. I felt that this book was better than a 3 Horseshoe rating but not quiet a 4 Horseshoe rating, but I couldn’t bring myself to do a 3 ½ Horseshoe rating only because you can’t have half of a horseshoe. (I know. There aren’t very many 5 legged horses out there….) Because of my waffling, I talked to my husband about my dilemma. He stated that most people won’t pick up on the things I do. He had me rate the book as if I was an average reader.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I give Anointed a 4 Horseshoe rating.

Anointed is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions. Also available from Barnes and Noble in Nook and Print.

Publication Details:

Author Maggie Mae Gallagher
Title Anointed
Format Ebook
Length 401 Pages
Publication Date February 2014
Publisher Self Published
ISBN 978-0-9914-8171-2