Minstrel’s Call: Cover Reveal!

The final song is about to be sung . . .

The last book in Jenelle Leanne Schmidt’s epic fantasy series, beginning with King’s Warrior and continuing with Second Song and Yorien’s Hand, is about to release!

Yes indeed, book 4, Minstrel’s Call, is coming out on February 28, and I could NOT be more excited! 😀

Today, I’m here to share in the revealing of the cover!

But first, a bit about the book and the author…

Minstrel’s Call

War threatens. The game board is set. But the Minstrel is missing…

Advancing his growing power, the Dread Prince breaks free of his prison and brings a faction of dragons under his control, stirring unrest and hatred in the newly united kingdoms of Tellurae Aquaous.

When the dragon wards of Kallayohm are targeted in a ruthless attack, the High King travels there to administer justice. But the trial results in a crippling blow that leaves him reeling.

On the heels of defeat, an unexpected message from the erstwhile Minstrel arrives, pleading with his friends for rescue. Together, the High King and his companions must follow the fragile trail, braving peril and darkness that will test the measure of them all…

Pre-Order for 99 cents on Amazon

About Jenelle

Jenelle Schmidt grew up in the northern-Midwest. She now resides with her husband and their four adorable children in the wilds of Wisconsin. Jenelle fell in love with reading at a young age during family story-times when her father would read out loud to her and her siblings each night before bed. Her imagination was captured by authors such as Madeleine L’Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Lloyd Alexander. It wasn’t long before she began making up her own stories and sharing them with her family. To this day she enjoys creating exciting adventure tales filled with poignant themes and compelling characters in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.

Find her online

Website/BlogFacebookTwitterAmazon Author PageGoodreads

Aaaand, without further ado, I give you: the cover!

Eeek! It’s so unique and epic and I love it! I’M RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED! ^_^ I especially love the waves, and it’s such a DIFFERENT cover and the ship is cool and I can’t wait! 😀

Have you tried out Jenelle’s books yet? They’re lovely if you haven’t! And for those of you who have, I hope you’ll join me in being excited for the release of the final one in the Minstrel’s Song series! IT’S ALMOST HEEERE!

(You can check out my reviews for the first three books in the series by clicking the images below.)

  Yoriens Hand - Cover Reveal Medium

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

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Vintage Jane Austen Valentine Sale

Hey, page-dreaming friends!

Just a heads-up: check out this sale for those Jane Austen retellings I’ve reviewed before! 🙂

From the Vintage Jane Austen Website…

A Kindle Countdown sale for the Vintage Jane Austen books begins today and runs through February 16!

If you’ve been wanting to read these 1930s-era retellings of Jane Austen’s classic novels, now is a great time to pick up ebook copies!

(The prices will slowly go back up toward their usual price, so jump on it now!)

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~The Page Dreamer

10 Things I Love About “The Last Motley” by DJ Edwardson

Hello, dear page dreamers! Oh boy, do I have a treat for you today!

DJ Edwardson’s fantasy novel, The Last Motley, is releasing in digital form today (paperback available too), and I’m here to tell you ALL about how you must drop everything and go read this amazing fantasy tale at once!

(And stay tuned at the end of this post for a link to the blogtour and giveaway currently going on to celebrate the release!)

But firstly, look at that stunning cover…

Title: The Last Motley
Author: DJ Edwardson

  • Date read: January 16, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Epic Fantasy / Christian
  • Age: Any
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 424 (ebook)
  • Fave character: I can’t decide; I love them all!
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-copy of this book from the author (thank you!). These opinions are entirely my own.
  • Links: Amazon • Goodreads • Author’s Website

Well, here’s one for the favorite books list! Absolutely delightful fantasy, one of the best I’ve read! I loved it so much! ^_^

Here are 10 (ish) things I love about The Last Motley.

1. It’s familiar and new all at once. It feels like a classic sort of fantasy tale, while at the same time being quite unique and not at all what you’d think! There are a few plot twists near the end which kept me on my toes (one of them I’m not sure about, but I sort of saw it coming and I THINK I’m okay with it) and otherwise I have no complaints at all—I loved everything about this book!

2. It reminds me a bit of Lloyd Alexander or Tolkien—high praise from me. 😉 Not in a repetitive sort of way, but in an it’s-just-that-good kind of way, with some similar flavors, such as colorful characters like Lloyd Alexander, and the real sort of “feel” of the world, like Tolkien.

3. A lot of the story and characters are not at all what you’d expect! I won’t say much about the story, lest I spoil it, other than to say that there’s a quest (huzzah!) and much adventure and excitement. 🙂 It’s a wonderful journey/quest going on, and somehow manages to feel familiar but surprising at once, like the best fantasy tales. There’s a lingering mystery to it all too, which was fascinating, and the conclusion is very exciting! O_O

4. As for the characters—well, my favorites! Roderick is a surprising hero—he’s only a simple tailor (as he’s fond of reminding people), and all he really wants is to stay with his lovely wife and little daughter, but he finds himself off on a quest… and more than he bargained for! He’s a little like Bilbo or Sam Gamgee in that way (though unique from them, of course), goodhearted and rather out of place in the wide world, just wanting his quiet home, and family—but that of course makes him the BEST of heroes, in his own simple way. I LOVED Roderick! 😀 Also, I thought it was brilliant how he noticed things about people by their clothes; he’s a TAILOR, so naturally he’s an expert on this, and it was incredible how that worked into the story in subtle ways. (And I love how he says “Oh, buttons.” I think I may adopt this. XD)

5. Then we have other characters, which I will briefly mention but try not to give too much away—because you must go meet them in the book yourself! There’s the wise old men Jareth and Kendall, an independent young woman named Portia, and of course Nagan! Not much to say about Nagan other than that he’s absolutely HILARIOUS, and his lines are some of my favorites in the book, which also makes him one of my favorites to read about! He has SO much personality. XD Then, last but not least, we have the titular Motley, Jacob, a young boy who… well… SPOILERS… but he’s absolutely the most ADORABLE thing and I love him so much! I love ALL the characters, particularly all together. GAAH. *hugs them all*

6. There was a depth and strength to the story, with themes of faith and especially of family woven throughout. Roderick has a strong faith, which was wonderful to see evident throughout the book in his simple trust and prayers. LOVED those parts. Some of the elements were rich with truth and felt deep and rather like George MacDonald or C.S. Lewis. And some of the conclusions might take you by surprise, in the best way! I loved the subtle messages and themes I got out of it! 🙂 And the last couple of paragraphs were great.

7. One of the strongest things I got out of it was the focus on family. I LOVED that. You don’t get a lot of fantasy books (or, well, books in general) focusing on family this much. Roderick and his wife, Bethany, and their little daughter, are lovely, and I love how he’s so protective of little Jacob. Their relationship is simply the best! The way Roderick thinks of Bethany all the time and what she’d do or think or say, and just wants to go home to his family, warmed my heart and made me so happy. ^_^ It’s a family book and we need more of those. ❤ And talking of family: the book is suitable reading for the entire family, which pleases me muchly. There are a few rather scary fantasy-shadow parts with the villains, so very young children might find it a little scary, but otherwise it’s totally family friendly. 🙂

8. The fantasy world of Arinn was fascinating, and I felt instantly at home there. I want to see more of it! It was a joy traveling through it with the characters—I felt so much a part of its hills and forests and rivers etc. It felt so colorful (appropriately so) and alive and just—I don’t know! It’s very homey (despite the inevitable dangers of such worlds. ;)) and I love it! Also, it made me hungry; sooo much food. I need to eat some fruit now! XD

9. The writing is another one of my favorite things about this book. It’s clever and funny by turns, and the little comparisons or twists of phrase lent it an air of whimsical, wry humor, which I absolutely adored. I often enjoy the writing in books, but this one had an extra something special. 😀 I had to pause here and there to savor some brilliant turn of phrase. I felt like I was eating a rich cake, or something!

10. Did I mention it’s funny? Because it’s funny! Not always in a laugh-out-loud way, but between some of the writing, and certain of the characters—particularly Nagan—it sparkled with humor here and there and made it that much more pleasant to read. I always particularly value books that make me laugh—and this one brought tears to my eyes too at a couple of particularly beautiful, heartfilling parts near the end! ❤ (Speaking of the end—in the last chapter there was a reference, or possibly two, which absolutely MADE MY DAY. I don’t know if others will catch them but it had me grinning insanely. XD Inside jokes are the. best.)

To conclude, I loved everything about it! This is an absolutely delightful book, in every way possible—from the story, the writing, the CHARACTERS, the humor and emotion, to the family and faith element, the world, and just an extra level of rich SOMETHING which I can’t put my finger on but characterizes this as one of my new favorite books! ^_^

This is quality fantasy, right here.

I’m eagerly awaiting more from this author, and I HIGHLY recommend The Last Motley to anybody who loves a good fantasy tale—because this certainly is one, and more.

(A Few) Favorite Quotes

from The Last Motley by DJ Edwardson

“Is it time to go already?” Jacob rubbed the sleep from his eyes with the backs of his two little fists. “What’s that sound?”

“Wolves,” Roderick said. “Now up, up, it’s time for a quick bite and we’re off.”

“We’re having wolves for breakfast?” Jacob asked.

Roderick ruffled the top of Jacob’s head. “No, sleepy, that’s wolves howling off in the distance.”

***

“Regrettably, I must take my leave. I swear I shall never forget you gentle folk— or your smell— but my feet are calling me home.”

“And where would that be?” Kendall asked.

Nagan hesitated, scanning the horizon in several directions as if attempting to get his bearings. “That’s an interesting question,” he said finally.

***

“Afraid of trees, eh? I might just have to chop one down and wear it around my neck, then,” Nagan said.

***

“Of course it won’t be safe. But nothing is ever truly safe. Some things are just more dangerous than others.”

***

“And you’ll know peace, and joy, and the shadows will never come again.”

***

“Wonderful!” Nagan said. “How do you spell that?”

A pair of flashing red eyes blinked into existence at the far side of the ruins, weaving in and out amongst the crumbled stone.

“I have no idea,” Roderick said. “I can’t read.”

“And I can’t spell to save my life,” Nagan said. “Which, unfortunately, is more than just a figure of speech at the moment.”

~ ~ ~

What do you think? Aaah, this book! Does it intrigue you? Because it’s SO GOOD. ❤

There’s a blog tour for The Last Motley to celebrate its release, running from today through February 17, and there’s a sale and a giveaway and other fun things! So be sure to check it out! 😀

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

February Fantasy Month 2018/Nightstand!

Some books I want to read this month. And oh! It’s Benedict Pendragon, my little dragon, popping in for a look! ^_^

Hello, dear page dreamers!

It’s February, and that means it’s time to celebrate . . . FANTASY MONTH!

Yes, indeed, one of my favorite times of year! 😉

Jenelle Schmidt is once again hosting February is Fantasy Month, and she has all sorts of fun things planned, so be sure to check out her blog!

Also, this time she has a splendid daily hashtag game/meme, so I’m hoping to do that on my Twitter each day. Check out the prompts and feel free to join in the fun on the social media of your choice with the hashtag #FantasyMonth!

Today I figured I’d share my Nightstand Books for February (which is another meme created by Jenelle Schmidt, and DJ Edwardson, where we share our currently-reading books each month)!

I have QUITE the ambitions for reading this month; whether or not I’ll get to them all is another matter. XD There always seems to be something else to read that pops up in the middle of the month and takes over from my previously scheduled plans. But it’s all for fun, and talking about books is everyone’s (or at least MY) favorite thing to do other than reading them, so, ONWARD!

Nearly all of these are Fantasy, in honor of the month. 😀 (Titles are linked and lead to Goodreads.)

Daily Readings

  • Hall of Heroes(anthology) 27 fantasy short stories by members of the Fellowship of Fantasy should be just right for February Fantasy Month… 😉 I won this lovely copy in a giveaway and I’m excited to dive in! 🙂 (The ebook version is available for free on Amazon!)
  • Tolkien and The Silmarillion – Clyde S. Kilby [and] Finding God in The Lord of the Rings – Kurt Bruner & Jim Ware(non-fiction) These two together have just the right number of chapters for daily reading in February, if I can manage it. I really enjoyed my daily readings of Mere Christianity and Tolkien: A Celebration, during January, so we’ll see if I can keep it up!

Nightstand

  • A Matter of Magic – Patricia C. Wrede — I’ve been meaning to read this ever since Christmas and I can’t wait! 😀 (Someday I will allow myself to read for fun. And when that day comes, I will read this. XD)
  • Adela’s Curse – Claire M. Banschbach — I got this during NaNo and somehow have been too busy to read it… but I’m determined to because it’s tiny and sounds fantastic! Because faeriiiies!
  • Lady Moon – Rachel Starr Thomson — I actually got this for my birthday LAST year (because it was highly recommended by my friend Mary Horton) and I’ve been putting it off because I want to love it SO BADLY that I’m afraid to start reading it. XD But I really ought to read it before my next birthday, AND it’s currently Fantasy Month, so of course it needs to go on this list.
  • The Children of Hurin – J.R.R. Tolkien(re-read) Last year I re-read The Silmarillion and read the new Beren and Luthien book, so this is next on my Tolkien list, if I can get to it! Looking forward to it. ^_^

Ebooks

  • Minstrel’s Call – Jenelle Leanne Schmidt(for review) This is coming out February 28 and I’m an ARC reader and it’s the LAST book in the series and alksdjfljd I’M EXCITED. (Also petrified; but… y’know. XD) Cover reveal coming soon!
  • Dissemble – Sarah Addison-Fox(for review) After enjoying Disowned last month, I’m excited to be reading this sequel, releasing February 22! It’s starting off a bit choppy but I’m otherwise intrigued so far. 🙂
  • The Lady and the Frog – L. Palmer(bookclub) This is the Fellowship of Fantasy book of the month for February and it sounds absolutely delightful. ^_^
  • Presumption and Partiality – Rebekah Jones — What is a non-fantasy book doing on this list? *gasp* Juuuust kidding! But this is the final Vintage Jane Austen book and I’ve been meaning to read it since it released (because Pride and Prejudice retelling!) so I’m hoping to get to it soon! (Also there’s going to be a great Kindle Countdown sale for the whole series, the week of Valentine’s Day, so watch for that!)
  • Battle for the Throne – E. J. Willis(for review) Another review book, I don’t know much about this one but it’s fantasy and sounds intriguing! I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

How about you? Are you excited for Fantasy Month? Planning to do the hashtag game? (It would work as a great tag on a blog, too!) What’s on your bookish “nightstand”?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Rulers and Mages (by Daley Downing) – The Order of the Twelve Tribes: Volume 2

Title: Rulers and Mages
Author: Daley Downing

  • Date read: December 26, 2017
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2017
  • Pages: 204 (paperback)
  • Series: The Order of the Twelve Tribes: Volume 2
  • Fave character: Alex, Avery
  • Source: Barnes & Noble
  • Notes: I beta-read an early version of this book, then bought a paperback of the final version which I read before writing this review.
  • Links: GoodreadsBarnes & NobleAuthor’s Blog

Another lovely tale of modern fantasy from author Daley Downing! This book was great fun. ^_^

Masters and Beginners, the first book, introduced us to protagonists Sophie and Flynn Driscoll, and their family and friends, part of the Order of the Twelve Tribes which deals with the existence of Fey and other magical beings in our modern world—protecting the knowledge. I loved getting to step into that world in the first book and meet the characters, and this second book takes us one step further into their lives and adventures.

Once again, the mixture of modern everyday life with the secrets of Fey and artifacts and shapeshifting cats and so on, was fascinating, and so was the element of Nephilim and Biblical mythology which was gone into a bit more. Occasionally a bit odd, but interesting. XD I LOVED seeing more of Faerie and the Fey, just a bit, and some of the new characters were fabulous! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I enjoyed getting to spend more time with the characters I’ve grown very fond of from the first book, such as Sophie and Flynn, and their parents James and Kate, and the half-fey neighbors including Alex, who’s my favorite! (I do want more of him!) Emma was… interesting. She was a little hard to like through part of it, having gained an attitude; I liked her more in the first book, though I DO appreciate that she’s having a hard time and stuff in this one, which of course can do things to people! And twists… And I still love Jules the cat sith and other characters. Some newer ones, like Prince Crispin (very brief, but he was so cool!) and Avery, were fantastic! Avery’s another favorite—she has such spark to her, and she’s basically a really cool aunt. 😉 I’m excited to see more of her in her new role! (No spoilers. :P)

There’s also a lot of character growth going on, and I really appreciated how the book dealt with the aftermath of the memory charm from the end of the first book! You don’t often get that, seeing what happens after a bunch of people forget everything… That was fascinating and well done. 🙂 I love the Archives, too! And I continue to love the film and book references, and the little snatches of articles and things after chapters, which add depth to the world.

It’s a little hard to talk about most of the things in the book because spoilers! Sooo many spoilers. And villain MEEPery. O_O But the story was definitely interesting! (One tricky thing for me was that I kept having phantom memories of different or alternate scenes because I read an early beta-version first, but that’s my own problem. XD) There’s adventure and secrets and discovery and betrayal, and joy and heartbreak and tears and love. I have a complicated relationship with a few of the twists, especially near the end, because on the one hand I’m not sure about them, but on the other hand, there ARE two more books in the series! 😉 And notoriously, one of my main issues with Volume 1 was resolved in this one… So I will look forward to seeing how some of that turns out.

There are definitely threads hanging and little hints that leave me going “WHAT??? IS THAT WHAT I THINK IT IS?? TELL ME MORE. O_O” so I’m definitely awaiting more books rather anxiously! Overall, this book is on a slightly larger scale than the first one, with more going on and more things for me to be not sure about but also more for me to go “AWESOME!” over. 😀 The first one was such a fun romp and a delightful introduction to this world/characters, while this one is going deeper and giving me feels and… yes. Anyway.

All of that to say, I may be on the fence (for now) about a couple of things, but on the whole I really enjoyed this book! It’s unique and fantastical and really well done. I definitely recommend giving the first book a try if you haven’t, and if you love fairy things and modern stories mixed (like I do!). Now I’ll be putting this lovely book on my shelf to look pretty next to the first volume and await more. 🙂 I’m rather addicted to this series and this world, and I love most of the characters, and I’m just basically FOND. ❤

~ ~ ~

Well. Do YOU like faerie things? BECAUSE YAY! And what do you think of the lovely cover Kyle Robert Shultz made for it? Does this series intrigue you? (Book 1 made my list of Top 15 Favorites of 2017! :))

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

10 Bookish Resolutions for 2018

Today I’m joining in on a Top Ten Tuesdays post, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl (which is where TTT moved as of TODAY, having formerly been hosted by the Broke and the Bookish).

Here are some of my bookish resolutions/goals for 2018!

1. Stay on top of reading ARCs and review books

I haven’t decided if this means more or less books for review (since I love them but they are also time-consuming… but I love them…). Regardless, I’d like to stay on track for the ones I have and any future ones I might get.

2. Stay on top of reviews

Related to the above point, I’d like to get the necessary reviews written within a decent amount of time. NaNo and Christmas season wreaked havoc on my reviewing schedule, and I just haven’t gotten around to some of them that I should have. So those are next!

3. Read the books I’ve won

I seem to have accumulated several books which authors were kind enough to give away and which I won… And then said books sit on my dresser or Kindle app waiting for me to read them, while I get distracted with review books and things. So I’d like to read and (hopefully) review the books I’ve won.

4. Read one book at a time (within reason)

I often end up reading a lot of books at the same time, which means I get stuck in several… which ends badly. I’d like to focus on one book at a time. I do say within reason, so I may read more than one at a time under certain circumstances — for instance: an e-book and a physical book, a re-read and a new read, a read-along and a read-aloud, a novel and some short stories and a nonfiction… things like that, where I distinguish between what SORT of book it is, I might allow myself to simultaneously read more than one book. But in general, just. one.

5. Finish beta-reading and take a break

I have a couple of beta-reads to finish, which I’m excited for, but after that I’m taking a break, at least this year. Beta-reading just takes so long, and I don’t know what to say, so I accidentally procrastinate over it for a century, and then feel absolutely terrible. I’m just… really bad at being a beta-reader. XD

6. Do more editing

That may sound like it contradicts the point above, but it doesn’t! Beta-reading is usually a general-feedback kind of deal, which I’m not the best at. What I am better at is proofreading/copyediting, which I LOVE. I’m passionate about fixing typos and punctuation, and generally polishing books to a fine sheen. Someday I will catch ALL the typos in the world! (Okay, not really; but I can dream. ;)) This point is involved with kicking off my new freelance editing service, which you can check out HERE; prices are negotiable, and I don’t bite! 😉

7. Read for fun more often

I know it sounds silly, but any time a book comes “with strings attached,” it becomes something to mark off my to-do list. I do LOVE review books, read-alongs, library books, books I’ve won, books to edit, books by friends, and so on, but anything with an “I should read this” or “I should review this” or a deadline attached to it in my subconscious isn’t just for PURE pleasure… (Please tell me I’m not the only one?) So despite loving those, I would like to kick back and read JUST for fun sometimes, and not worry about having opinions and stuff.

8. Read more Diana Wynne Jones

This is kind of self-explanatory… I’m hoping March Magics and a trip to the library will help with this one. 😉

9. Read more Tolkien

Also self-explanatory. Re-reads. Books by Tolkien I haven’t read. Books by others about him and his writings. The works.

10. Have fun and don’t obsess

This one is hard, and one of the reasons why I often ALMOST don’t start a Goodreads reading goal… (But I usually break down anyway because it’s nice having them all listed.) I don’t like obsessing about how many books I read, because that makes it more like work, but I can hopefully keep track without getting too into it. XD I really need to remind myself that I still read for fun. And if it’s not fun, I shouldn’t be doing it. And if I’m MAKING it not fun, I need to stop! Breathe. Read. Dream of ink and pages and bookshelves. Be a contented bookdragon.

Well, those are my top ten bookish resolutions/goals; we’ll see how quickly I can fail at all of them. XD But it’s all in fun. 🙂 What are yours? And do we share any? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Disowned (by Sarah Addison-Fox) – Allegiance Series, #1

Title: Disowned
Author: Sarah Addison-Fox

  • Date read: January 9, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Christian / Kingdom Adventure
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2017
  • Pages: 334
  • Series: The Allegiance Series, #1
  • Fave character: Mick!
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-copy of this book from the author (many thanks!). These opinions are my own.
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

What a unique, enjoyable book!

The story kept me absorbed and guessing, and it’s a nice mix of action/thrilling, and life sequences with character moments. There’s a dash of romance which was alternately cute and frustrating—just say what you mean, already, characters! (The usual. ;)) It could be raw and real and emotional and deal with war and things, but also be lighthearted and fun at other times. Quite balanced and well-written. 🙂 Anyway, I liked the story and I can’t wait to see where it goes next!

On to characters!

Mick was my favorite; I loved him! The soldier type, he has a temper and a gruff exterior at times, but he’s goodhearted and loyal, and has a wry sense of humor. His dialog was the best. 😀 It was also neat picking out his relationships with everyone around him, like his family and Celeste and Asher.

Celeste was a good heroine and I liked how the author did a great job with her outlook on things clearly showing how foreign the more “normal” world of Mick and his family was to her, since Celeste is from the country with which his homeland is at war. I loved Mick and Celeste figuring each other out after being at odds.

Mick’s family, the Haynes, were so nice. ^_^ Having an entire family as central characters was a sweet and refreshing element! I liked how they were just good people, and a tight-knit little group. We have Maggie and Ethan, the parents (who share POV switching back and forth with Mick and Celeste), who were both such homely, good people; Maggie’s so sweet and motherly, and Ethan’s a solid, strong sort of father-figure. Then there’s Joe and Sadie, the little siblings of Mick; they’re fun, though I was occasionally unsure what age they’re supposed to be. A lot of the lightheartedness comes from them. 🙂

Other characters were intriguing, particularly Mick’s friend Asher (I’d like to find out more about him), and the monks who we saw a few times, though not as much as I thought at first. Everyone was very individual and came to life on the page! 🙂

The setting was very interesting! Some might call it non-magical fantasy, but there’s nothing fantastical about it—it’s merely non-historical countries in another land. Hence the newly-named genre Kingdom Adventure, which this book definitely belongs to. 🙂 I thought it might be medieval-esque, but while it does have dashes of that (with a monastery and things), it ended up feeling almost more like a frontier western type of era, 1800s perhaps, with a smidge of more modern feel too. There are guns, horses, potbellied stoves, and a little town with shops, as well as an organized military and intelligence which felt more modern with a lot of the wording, and electricity is a new thing so there’s lightbulbs… But apparently there’s a queen and there are many references to the Crown, so the western feel doesn’t totally fit. I guess it’s like non-magical fantasy meets western meets kingdom meets almost-modern. 🙂 Anyway, the point is that it felt very unique! A few times some of the elements didn’t mesh totally for me, but on the whole it felt like its own individual land that I’ve now become familiar with. ^_^ That’s one of the fun things about Fantasy and Kingdom Adventure—the feel of the world and getting to know it. I hope to go back to this land of Etraea sometime!

Content-wise, for those who wish to know, it’s a little bit gritty at times, so I’d recommend it to slightly older teens. There’s a little bit of gruesomeness due to war, and some other references/things which might make it more PG-13, but fairly mild. And there’s a faith element which was nicely integrated, since there’s an allegorical God and so forth. I liked how faith-filled the Haynes family was. 🙂

That ending! It didn’t cliff-hanger, exactly, but it sort of… stopped rather suddenly, and there are quite a few questions left hanging, including some big changes. I keep wondering what happens next (I want the next scene!) and I’m extremely curious to find out what will happen in later books! I want to know what happens with Mick and Celeste and their stories!

Overall, I enjoyed it very much indeed! ^_^ It was just… really good, and I loved the characters! ❤ (And and and — book 2, where are you?!) I recommend it to anyone who likes a good adventure story, and I’ll be watching for more books by this author! 😀

Favorite Quote

“You picked a bad time to get shot.”

Mick raised an eyebrow. “Is there a good time to get shot?”

~ ~ ~

What do you think? Sound intriguing? Don’t you just LOVE that cover? ^_^

[NOTE: Although I’m not part of it, there’s a month-long January blog tour going on for this book! You can find the links in this post.]

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll