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Book review: Lady Saera’s The Wizard of Crescent Keep

It all started at a curiosity shop, where curiosity really did get the better of Christopher reviewEnglish. He found an old chest, locked, sealed, and seemingly empty. He knew he had to have it, to find a way to open it and discover what was hidden inside. They say curiosity killed the cat, in this case it killed the boy, or at least made it so he could no longer be who he once was. For all intents and purposes he was dead. Whisked away to another world, Chris became a thing of the past, and Crescent was born. Years pass, with no way to return home he is schooled in magic and adapts and excels in the new world. But something is amiss. A sorcerer called Minger claims to have a cure for vampirism. Crescent has had suspicions about this figure for some time, strange deaths and bizarre happenings follow him. Crescent is finally in reach of an answer, close to the evidence he needs to stop this villain, unaware his investigation has left someone he cares about vulnerable, or the debt he is about to incur.

The Wizard of Crescent Keep Special Color Edition Book One (Volume 1) is a fantasy novel written by Lady Saera. She possesses an enjoyable narrative, a style which is simple, yet engaging, something that would easily appeal to the young adult audience and tells a tale of magic, romance, and villainy that, like many aspects of the books, is straight from a fairy tale. Disney meets the original Brother’s Grimm in the darker side of fantasy, where murderous and scheming villains manipulate and exploit naïve maidens for their own amusement and gains. The characters are interesting, I really liked the poor Sir Raven Knight, something about the poor cursed bird tugged the heart strings. I thought the map near the start of the book was a brilliant addition, as were some of the illustrations included, they really added a touch of something extra in a beautifully presented book. The Wizard of Crescent Keep is an easy, enjoyable read, that you will easily lose hours to.

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Book review: T.L. Howard’s The Final Choosing

It had taken his last moments in this world, but he recorded the truth. Perhaps his record reviewwould be the only copy of what had been done, and in turn what he had done. Evidence, scriptures, it all was to be destroyed so no one would almost destroy the world itself in an attempt to fulfil a prophecy. The Abbot had thought only his predecessor could open the spell which bound it and learn the truth. He had been mistaken. Faldyn, returned from the dead by unnatural means, has discovered a trail, notes leading to clues, leading to the prophecy, and he intends to exploit what he has learnt, but doing so will result in the world being torn from existence as if it had never existed. There was a prophecy, but he was not the one chosen to fulfil it, and any seeking to use it but the one selected will bring about the end.

The Final Choosing by T.L. Howard is a steady paced fantasy, building slow momentum through the journey of two opposing forces, Faldyn, who seeks to fulfil the prophecy and name one true god, and Mirah, the one approached by the divine themselves in hope to stop him. Port to port, town to city, winter to spring, you will be awed by the magnificent descriptions, crafted in such a way to conjure spellbinding scenes. The characters are as deep as they are diverse They are well-rounded, developed, and show great growth throughout their journeys. Watching Mirah try to make sense of the false trails, red herrings, and deceptions, whilst attempting to solve the cryptic riddle and understand exactly what she is trying to prevent is masterfully done. We watch and are told the reasons behind Faldyn’s misdirection, at each turn we know what must be done, and will her to realise the deception. This is a plot you cant help become invested in, and a journey you will most certainly enjoy.

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Book review: Richard Nell’s Kings of Paradise (@rnell2 )

His mother had given everything she had to protect him. Born Noss touched there were reviewthose who would call Ruka cursed. Children like him were not allowed to live in some places, although some northern laws protected them from the death sentence that people were all too willing to preach was right. She loved him, she believed he was a child of prophecy, one who would destroy and create the world anew. Ruka however believed no such things. He lacked his mother’s faith in the gods, and sought only to live. But he was an outlaw, unjustly accused and unfairly sentenced. He vowed to survive, to live on for his mother. He took everything that was good and buried it in a haven of his own making, a place he could be all he wished, a place where things in the real world didn’t matter. Except they did. While he tries to survive, a young Prince tries to find his place within the world. Sent to the navy, unsure of his calling he finds comradery and earns the respect of many. Before both these men lies a difficult future, one that will either save the world or see it burn.

There a complex depth to the characters in  Richard Nell ‘s Kings of Paradise (Ash and Sand Book 1)  I enjoyed watching each of their developments, Dala, Kale, and Ruka have very different stories, different lives, and yet all three are destined to change the world. I loved how these characters grew and changed when challenged by circumstances. Weakness become strength, and the power and strength of an idea is central to this story. Written with a flair fitting to the world of fantasy, and a passion  the reader can’t help but experience. There is so much depth to plot, characters, world building,  hierarchy, you can’t help but be drawn into this world of darkness, entitlement, and hatred. Sometimes things must be destroyed to be built anew, a theme explored this impressive tale. Love, betrayal,  loyalty, honour, and sacrifice, God’s and men, agendas, politics, and manipulation, what more could you ask for? A must for lovers of fantasy, especially those who enjoy losing themselves in a epic tale.

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Book review: Holland C Kirbo’s A Flame in the Night

The birth of her sister’s child stirred a gift Laykyn had never imagined. All it took was one touch reviewof the newborn and she had a vision, one of fire and violence. A dangerous force sought the child, but why any would wish to harm a baby was beyond her. Then there were the dreams, a similar theme of fire, but his time it was she who was trapped, at first by her own fear, and then by a man who barred her path. Her mother suggested, perhaps, given how long she had had them there was something divine in their nature, something that needed to be understood, how right she was. Unbeknown to Laykyn the world is changing, dark forces have awoken in the west, and most of Theranyn has fallen to Maal, the ruler of Hael who wishes to force himself into physical form and take their world for his own. Her nephew’s birth was a thing of significance, a catalyst, but not in the way any had expected.

Holland C Kirbo has an excellent writing style filled with rich and beautifully descriptive narrative, fantastic world building, and an array of unique and interesting characters forged into their own person by their unique experiences. There was no choice but to be drawn into the fabulous world, and marvel at all within. Rich histories, myths, and attention to detail have all been woven to create this amazing tale, and since A Flame in the Night is the first book in The Legends of Aewyr series it shows fantastic promise for the rest of the series. This book really made it easy to get excited about fantasy, I loved the complexes, the characters and the obvious thought and scope that has clearly gone into its writing. I am looking forward to book two.

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Book review: Wilbert Stanton’s Gears of Fate (@wilbert_stanton )

Zak Walker, a fringe rat living on the outskirts of the slums and doing dangerous labour reviewin the hope to look after his sister, could never imagine the plan fate has for him. He only wanted to protect his sister. His father, since their mother left, is a mean and violent drunk, and Zak had sworn to look after Alice. But the distance he would go to keep this vow would surprise even him. The day Seneca appeared was the start of his twisted path. His sister vanishes, spirited away to Earth, a place now abandoned by the gods and left to the Fey. Zak must unite the gods, but to do so he must pull Zeus from his fractured state by retrieving something stolen from him by his treacherous son, Ares. Earth is not like it was in the time of the gods, now it is nothing more than a hunting ground of rivalry and survival, a honey trap, pretty, but deadly to those who don’t know how to look after themselves. Can Zak survive in a place where trust can be a death sentence, and keep his promise to protect his sister? Find out in Gears of Fate, Forgotten God’s, book one, by Wilbert Stanton.

Gears of Fate put me in mind of Piercy Jackson meets the Golden compass and Disney’s treasure island. There’s a steampunk element that I found charming. Seneca’s character reminded me of one of my favourite characters from Tales of Vesperia. As a gamer and fantasy lover, not to mention a lover of Greek gods and mythos this book ticked a lot of my boxes. Well written, engrossing, Imaginative, gripping, and fun. You’ll find yourself lost in a world of dangers, where nothing is quite what it appears. Wilbert Stanton has a talent for world building and character development and creates believable relationships, technologies, adaptations, and content fleshing out an amazing world. A great start to what promises to be a gripping series.

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Book review: Kate L. Mary’s The Outliers (@kmary0622 )

Indra was an Outlier. She was nothing, less than nothing within the city walls. For three reviewyears she had worked for Saffron, inheriting her mother’s position of House Maid when her mother became too sick to work. Now it fell to her to provide for the family. She learnt quickly how to protect herself from the more horrific consequences, and in turn when her best friend Mira came to work there, she protected her, even at her own risk. Things were less than ideal, but they were bearable for the small wages and food they were paid. What they were given often meant the difference between life and death. But things were changing, and following events Indra feels somewhat responsible for, bills that had previously failed are being passed to ensure the Outliers are closer to becoming slaves than the free people they were, what’s more, part of it was being done ‘for their own good’. Indra doesn’t know what to do, this latest change will force her to sacrifice the very reason she works there, but there is no life beyond the wastelands, despite how her husband indulges in such fantasies. Could she risk trying to survive, or is the slow push into slavery her only chance?

I really enjoyed Kate L. Mary’s The Outliers. Indra is an easy character to relate to, she’s an overthinker. She replays things in her mind, and shoulders the burden of things she felt she could have changed. She carries with her guilt and remorse, and through it all strives to do right as much as she dare, even at the risk of punishment. But there are some boundaries she knows better than to push, and things that, to her own pain, she keeps from Bodhi, her husband, and Asa is one such secret, despite the seemingly innocent nature of their forming relationship. I found her Bodhi’s character really likable, especially in his attempts to help his wife grow and learn things that their way of life would normally frown upon. I found Kate L. Mary’s writing style to be immersive, enough description to build her world and environments and enough character interactions and observations to get a real feel for the conflicts, hierarchy, and structure of the world they live in. It is certainly a strong first book, and I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the next instalment.

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Book review: Anthea Sharp’s Spark: Feyguard Book 1

Spark Jaxley was a professional gamer, and boy did she draw in the crowds. With the reviewupcoming release of FullD and the awesome game Feyland, her schedule was more hectic than ever. The last thing she needed was to cross paths with a Hacker, intent of finding the cheats and selling them before the game was released. Feyland had a secret, it was interfaced with the real land of the fey. So strong was the foundation of the game that it had once drawn beings form that realm through, and a crack remained, with one perfect exploit the barrier separating the game world and the Dark Court could be torn asunder, and who better to find such a cheat than a hacker? Aran did not know what he was getting himself into, and Spark’s attachment to the gaming world goes deeper than any would imagine, she is part of the Feyguard, an elite force of seven charged with returning those mortals who stray to far into the game and end up in a place they should not tread, and now she must risk her life to pull him back to their world, before the fey can utilise his skills to their advantage.

This is a brilliant read. Whilst it is book one in the series Anthea Sharp does an excellent job in creating epic events that preceding the story, without having to actually recap. A nice touch which adds depth and reality to the characters. As a gamer myself I loved in in game applications, the skills, and abilities possessed within Feyland. There had clearly gone a lot of thought into how best to write parts of a game as a book, something which if often lost in transition, but not here. As a reader you will find yourself turning page after page watching the growing relationships, the friendships, companionships, even the adversaries, all developing and escalating. Spark is a brilliant female lead, and is well supported by Aran as a secondary character. Great storytelling, with a fun enjoyable plot.

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Book review: Robert E Kreig’s The Huntress of Woodmyst, (@robertekreig )

Alice was the very image of her father, from her looks, to her heart. She had even taken reviewhis old sword and learnt from the blacksmith in order to melt it down and make something more suitable for her to wield. Recently her thoughts had turned to concern, her home was expanding, the forest was shrinking, and soon she worried the trees would be gone. There was one tree, however, she would protect, the one standing in the place the Great Hall had been. It was here she felt closest to her father. Even though she had yet to turn thirteen she possessed exceptional skills, and the more people begin to notice her difference the more they begin to fear. Some fed this fear, while others attempted to assure them that her heart is for her people. Some amongst Woodmyst respected her more than any member of their council. But it was impossible to hide the animosity, they wanted her dead, but would settle for exile given that she was likely to leave without any persuasion. Little did they know an ancient enemy had returned, and Alice is their best, perhaps only, hope of survival. Even if her skills do surpass their own army, can a young girl really protect them from what is coming? Find out in Robert E Kreig’s The Huntress of Woodmyst, The Woodmyst Chronicles: Book V.

From her kinship with animals to her skills with hunting, forging, and leather making Alice will not fail to surprise you. I loved her character, and found her skills and development enjoyable to witness. Robert E Kreig writes an action packed adventure, filled to the brim with conflict, battle, survival, and surprising allies. The Huntress of Woodmyst is book five in The Woodmyst Chronicles, and yet it flowed seamlessly, and at no point did I feel the need to have read the other books to understand events. There’s a good sense of world building, complete with feuds, legends, and myths, and a very realistic cast of characters who act and respond appropriately. Their attitudes and actions serve to add depth, and whilst you’ll find yourself frustrated with choices made you’ll also understand them. This character-driven story will keep you on the edge of your seat as Alice faces overwhelming odds.

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Book review: Darren Hultberg Jr’s Realmbound

Dark, terrifying, horned demons emerged the world over on the day the world ended. But these seemingly reviewinvulnerable creatures were different to the other monsters that appeared, they didn’t hunt just any running flesh, they hunted those of power, politicians, figureheads, leaders, so why had one pursued Rian. He was nothing special, an eighteen year old grocery store clerk with no idea what he was going to do with his life. With some help he managed to escape, but when he awoke he no longer recognised his home. Six months had passed, and the world was in ruin. Those who survived did so in groups, finding a new place in this strange world. Reunited with his roommate and best friend, Angelo, Rian discovers what had befell the world, but he also brought danger to their door. Rian Asher no longer needs to ask what to do with his life, he is already being guided to his destiny. He is the last hope, the one who will stand against the beasts in an attempt to drive the evil forces back.

Well paced and carefully considered in order to weave a well designed plot. As a gamer there were certain parts of this that really appealed to me, and I enjoyed how the truth behind things are implied before being told allowing me to piece together the information given to create my own conclusions into the How’s and whys of things before the truth is revealed. A fun read for fans tasty lovers and gamers alike.

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Book review : C. A. Pack’s Fourth Chronicles of Illumination

The Library of Illumination is in danger. Knowledge is power, and with each one having reviewtheir own diversity there is a danger of one becoming supreme. Why should they not all be the same when uniformity would answer questions with one decisive stroke, and how can this uniformity be brought about? The answer is simple, to destroy them all but one . And someone plans to do just that. War is coming, a war that will decide the fate and wisdom allowed to be retained in all the realms, and it falls to Johanna to intervene, but she has her own problems, whisked away and imprisoned by the Terrorians she must first find a way to free herself and her unexpected allies. Will the realms lose all they fought to protect, or can those on the side of wisdom and freedom of information prevail against astounding odds? Find out in C. A. Pack’s Fourth Chronicles of Illumination, The Third Book of the Knowledge is Power Trilogy (Library of Illumination 9) .

Within the pages of Fourth Chronicles of Illumination you will find an enormous universe filled with different species, cultures, understandings, technology, advancements, and beliefs. Certainly an impressive undertaking which C.A. Pack does not shy away from. The complex design of the work is a testament to the sheer amount of time and consideration that would have gone in to its production. Wars and battles, alliances and prejudices, this book has everything you would find in the real world, but on a monumental scale. Good and bad, it is there for you to discover. As the third book in the Knowledge is Power Trilogy, during the first part I felt I would have benefitted from have read the preceding books, the plot does come into its own to a level you can almost forget others came before it. Some of the characters have a very distinctive style of dialogue, some of which would draw similarities to popular movies in the science fiction genre, but whilst dialect is similar, the individual characters are in themselves unique. This is a massive adventure, with lots to be take in, possibly the kind of book you’d want to read more than once to get a full appreciation for everything that happens. Characters develop nicely and relationships change, as would be expected. This book was a good read, and I am curious to know all the details that led to the current predicament. If you like science fiction which has some great depth then you’ll find Fourth Chronicles of Illumination has a lot to offer.

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