Tag Archive | Fantasy

Songflight Blog Tour!

Greetings, friends of the page!

Work and lack of internet have kept me absent from blogging (and reading) for too long, but today I’m really excited to be spotlighting this book as part of the blogtour!

Songflight by Michelle M. Bruhn is releasing this Friday (August 21) and it sounds amazing!

I’m hoping to post a review here after I read the book — I can’t wait! — but for now, read all about it and check out the other tour stops! ^_^ And how about this cover! :O

About the Book

Songflight (The Dragon Singer Chronicles, book 1)

To end an unjust war, a slayer’s daughter must learn the ways of the dragons and find the confidence to lead despite her speech impediment.

Alísa is the daughter of a slayer chief, born into war against the evil of the dragons. Her speech impediment stole her confidence, and her empathic connection to dragons stole the respect of her clan. But when her growing psychic connection reveals one dragon’s capacity for good, she must choose: stay with her family in comfortable but condemning silence, or follow the dragon claiming to know her true purpose.

Preorder

Preorder Goodies


About the Author

Michelle M. Bruhn is a YA fantasy author whose stories focus on outcasts, hard questions, and hope. She is passionate about seeing through others’ eyes and helping others to do the same, especially through characters with diverse life experiences. She finds joy in understanding others, knows far too much about personality theories, and binge-watches TED Talks on a regular basis. She spends the rest of her free time making and listening to music, walking, reading, and snuggling with her cats.

Links


August 15: 

M.H. Elrich—Author Interview

August 16: 

Rachel A. Greco—Author Interview

Laura A. Grace—Character Interview (Alísa)

August 17: 

H.S.J. Williams—Author Interview

August 18: 

Deborah O’Carroll—Spotlight (you are here!)

August 19 (20 AU): 

Jane Maree—Character Interview (Graydonn)

August 20: 

Olivia Neale—Review

August 21 (RELEASE DAY!):

Claire M. Banschbach—Author Interview


Aaahh, how cool does this book sound? It’s been on my want-to-read list for way too long and I can’t wait to dive in when life slows down a bit! I’m always up for a dragon story — how about you? (Now excuse me while I stare at that cover for the next five hundred years.) Thanks for reading! 🙂

The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin (Book Review)

(Whoops, had a glitch there when I tried to post this at first. Hopefully this works better!)

Hey! I have a review to share today! (I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to post, due to not having internet at home right now, but I’m excited to be able to get a post up for this series finale which I just finished last night!)

Title: The Story Hunter

Author: Lindsay A. Franklin

  • Date read: June 4, 2020
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age: older YA
  • Year pub: 2020
  • Pages: 368
  • Series: The Weaver Trilogy, #3 (Book 1: The Story Peddler — my review. Book 2: The Story Raider — my review.)
  • Fave character: Kharn
  • Source: Amazon
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

What a majestic conclusion to this fantasy trilogy! I’m not sure quite what I expected, but I quite enjoyed THE STORY HUNTER, for the most part!

It was somehow cozy and familiar to be back in this world for the finale of this series, even with my near-panicked uncertainty of AAHH WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN? (You know, like coming into watching Endgame for the first time. XD) I was so curious to find out what was going to happen to these characters — after waiting all this time for the last book to release — and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would!

Which . . . sounds wrong, when I put it that way. But I was bracing myself for a lot more darkness and sadness, on par with the second book, and was pleasantly surprised with how things wrapped up. Don’t get me wrong — this book is definitely somewhat dark and grim, in some ways more than book two (although book two had all the middle-book-darkness-without-any-victory-to-offset-it feel which is, I suppose, why I enjoyed this one more). The stakes also ramped up a bit for the finale, and there were one or two darker parts that weren’t my favorite. But there was also much hope and light sprinkled in, a lot of triumph and unexpected twists, and even a proper eucatastrophe moment, to use Tolkien’s word. So I guess I would say it balanced itself out.

There’s heartache and loss but also love and light, and it wrapped up everything in a mostly-satisfying way and made me pretty happy. ^_^ It did give me all the feels (laughing at banter, shedding a tear or two but in a good way at the beautiful legacies left behind) but it didn’t tear my heart out like I was afraid it would, and overall, by the end, it left me . . . uplifted. Which is something that’s good to feel at the end of a series. 🙂

I quite enjoy the unique world and it just felt cozy to be back in it, like I said. It’s colorful and unique, even shrouded in the darkness that’s fallen across it as of book two. All the caverns and strands were particularly cool! And I loved following the large cast of characters — all well juggled, although I wanted more of Kharn but I suppose under the circumstances that wouldn’t have worked out so well. XD

I’m not mentioning everyone by name because I don’t want to give anything away (awk, trying to write book three reviews without spoilers is hard!) but I will say I was glad to see how several of the characters’ arcs ended, and some of them make me smile. I also loved the beautiful tribute near the end to those lost along their journey, which made those sad parts a little more worth it, somehow.

There were one or two things and/or character actions that seemed to come totally out of the blue and left me kind of bewildered and going “wait, what?”, but I rolled with it and things turned out better than I expected in some cases, so I’m cool with it, mostly. XD (And to be fair, it could just be the fact that I read the previous book a year ago, and the first book two years ago, and I may have just missed certain connections or not remembered seeing things before — like Celyn, who I’m not complaining about AT ALL but had no memory of meeting before.) And, again, a couple of the darker parts I wasn’t fond of, but there you are.

Still, on the whole, I absolutely LOVED how it drew so many elements from the previous two books and wove them together, all the strands weaving into a beautiful, if sometimes scary, tapestry. Everything connected for the finale, in a swirling crescendo of color and characters — I absolutely loved how everything came together for the end! It made me so happy. The adventure definitely kept me on the edge of my seat, worried for everyone at every step, not able to put the book down and reading until midnight to finish.

Overall, I’m so glad I finally got to read the end of this saga, and while there were a few stumbles along the way (and I don’t really recommend the second and third books to younger or sensitive readers), it’s still been quite a journey — an often-fun one, with laughter and tears and a reminder of the good and the light in the world, even amidst the darkness.

Because the light wins and “winter will not last forever.” A magnificent, fitting end to the Weaver Trilogy. ^_^


More reviews!

Books also by this author . . .

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Orphan's Song Songkeeper  Seahorse Kindle Cover copy THE SUNKEN REALM KINDLE COVER SEPT 2015


Have you read any in this series? Thanks for reading! 🙂

An Echo of the Fae: Cover Reveal!

Hello, my fellow page dreamers! I’m back from hiatus — and a lovely hiatus it was — to share the GORGEOUS cover for AN ECHO OF THE FAE by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt, one of my favorite authors!

This is a book I’m very excited indeed to share about (I have, in fact, read it, since I was privileged to copyedit it — and I hope to review it for the blog tour later this month), and the cover is STUNNING! I can’t WAIT for it to release! ❤

So scroll down to check out the cover, a bit about the book, and an excerpt!

(FYI, I do have some internet difficulties, so . . . how “back from hiatus” I am remains to be seen. Carry on. XD)

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And now! LOOK HOW GORGEOUS! ❤

An Echo of the Fae

Echo enjoys the peace and solitude of the Faeorn forest, regardless of how strange spending time in the “haunted” wood seems to others.

But on the cusp of her thirteenth birthday, the discovery of a family secret reveals why Echo has never been drawn to the sea like her mother. This discovery shakes the foundations of her world and sends Echo on a quest, not merely into the forest, but into the heart of the fae-lands themselves, to rescue the sister she didn’t know existed.

Elves, dragons, and fairy courts will put Echo’s wit and resolve to the test. But with time running out for her sister, will Echo even be able to save herself?

A fairytale adventure perfect for fans of The Secret of Roan Innish and The Girl Who Drank the Moon.

Drop by Jenelle’s website for preorder links etc.!


Endorsements:

Enthralled by the terror, charm, riddles, and beauty of a richly depicted fae world, I devoured this marvelous book in two sittings! Readers of all ages will love Echo, a heroine strong in her weakness, clever and resolute amid her doubt and fear. An Echo of the Fae is sure to satisfy lovers of adventure and faery!” — J.M. Stengl, author of The Faraway Castle Series


Author Bio:

Jenelle first fell in love with stories through her father’s voice reading books aloud each night. A relentless opener-of-doors in hopes of someday finding a passage to Narnia, it was only natural that she soon began making up fantastical realms of her own. Jenelle currently resides in the wintry tundra of Wisconsin—which she maintains is almost as good as Narnia—with her knight-in-shining armor and their four adorable hobbits. When she is not writing, she homeschools said hobbits and helps them along on their daily adventures… which she says makes her a wizard.

Follow Jenelle around the interwebs to get news about latest releases and her writing adventures:


And now, a snippet from the book!

An excerpt from An Echo of the Fae by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

You dare steal from the King of the Winter Court?” The voice reverberated through the air, its sheer, palpable power pushing Echo to her knees. The lantern dropped from her nerveless hand and clattered on the ground.

Echo bowed her head respectfully, racking her memory for every snatch of folk-tale she had ever heard about the Winter Fae or the Dark Host. “Forgive me, my lord,” she whispered. “I did not intend to steal from you. I merely seek to save the life of my sister.”

She heard soft footfalls approach across the sable ground but she did not dare raise her eyes, not even when she felt the touch of hot breath on the back of her head.

You smell of truth.” The voice sounded puzzled. “Rise, seeker.”

Echo stood, wincing at the pain in her feet. But that thought fled with the rest as she came face to face with the largest tiger she had ever seen.

Upon reflection, it was the only tiger she had ever seen. But she was reasonably certain that, should she ever see another, it would be quite different from the monstrous beast that confronted her now.

Her eyes were even with his shoulders, and he stared down at her from his impressive height, his long whiskers twitching inches above her face. His fur was utterly black, the color of coal. Instead of stripes, Ritioghra’s—for it could only be Ritioghra—body was covered in swirls and whorls of gleaming blue, the same color as the Everflame. His eyes gleamed like two massive stars of an identical shade, and he gazed down at her with an expression of ferocious curiosity. He was utterly terrifying and utterly beautiful.

Terror coursed through her veins like ice, but the light of intelligence in his eyes gave her courage. “For-forgive me, my lord.” Echo gave a wobbly curtsy.

The tiger stretched with a lazy nonchalance. Every line of his long body rippled with power and strength, like the unstoppable force of a river about to burst its banks.


So there you are!

Isn’t it gorgeous? Savannah Jezowksi at Dragonpen Designs did an amazing job on the cover! And doesn’t the book sound absolutely lovely? Because it absolutely is!

Let me know what you think in a comment! Thanks for reading. ^_^

Winter Spell #CoverReveal!

GUYS! I’m so very excited to share the cover reveal for Winter Spell by Claire M. Banschbach today!

Okay, so I read this back in January (copyeditor perks!) and I loved it SO. MUCH. One of my favorite books this year!

Read on for all the info about the book, the GORGEOUS COVER, and some exciting preorder goodies (including me shrieking incoherently over some ADORABLE ART), and an Instagram challenge!

Aaahh! I’m so excited!

Cover coming in 3 . . .

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Winter Spell

by Claire M. Banschbach

A half-breed faery. A war-weary princess. A quest to free three kingdoms from the deadly winter spell.

Constantly doubted by her ocean faery kindred, Tonya Freyr-dottir only wants to untangle the dormant ice and water magic within her. Then a strange attack makes her unleash a fierce winter on the land and sea. And she has no idea how to stop it.

Princess Diane serves faithfully at her brother’s side, trying to restore their kingdom of Myrnius after the devastating Dark War. Now with brutal winter wreaking havoc, everything they have worked for might be lost to famine and destruction.

Desperate to help, Tonya travels to the far north to unlock her magic, aided by Diane, as well as two land faeries: Dorian, a reckless healer and August, a mischievous warrior. But the north brings fresh dangers, unearths old wounds, and offers more questions than answers.

With doom threatening human and faery alike, Tonya must find a way to trust her new friends and release her magic before all fall to the fury of winter’s spell.

Available for pre-order now! Releases on 4/23!

Add to Goodreads


Note

Aren’t they gorgeous together? *DYING*

Winter Spell is book 3 in the Faeries of Myrnius series, but can be read as a standalone. (So if you haven’t read the first two and just need this one in your life, you can totally go ahead and read Winter Spell by itself!) However, series is best enjoyed in chronological order.


Preorder Info!

*cue screaming* LOOOOK AT THE ADORABLE CHIBI ART H.S.J. WILLIAMS MADE FOR CLAIRE’S PRECIOUS WINTER SPELL CHARACTERS!!! ❤ My character frens! They are so cute and it’s just PERFECT for their personalities and alkdsjflksjdlkf I CAN’T! ❤ ❤ ❤

August is busy being snarky and totally getting in Dorian’s personal space. XD Dorian is so done with him and looking FABULOUS. (Dorian’s my favorite, y’all!) Princess Diane is not taking nonsense from anybody (and looook, her notebook and braid crown!). And Tonya, my precious winter child!

Eep! I adore them all SO MUCH. I’m so excited for y’all to get to meet them in this book!

Amazing photo by @cmbanschbach / Adorable character art by @h.s.j._williams

Pre-order goodies include a character art postcard of four characters from Winter Spell done by H.S.J. Williams, and a series bookmark! Submit receipt to campitorpress@gmail.com

Pre-order packets will also be available to those who buy the book in ebook or paperback up to 5/7 and submit receipt to campitorpress@gmail.com

Pre-order!


IG photo challenge

Claire is also running her first Instagram challenge! It will be for the week of the release, 4/20-4/24, and will have prizes attached for those who participate!


Author Bio

Claire M. Banschbach is a native Texan and would make an excellent hobbit if she wasn’t so tall. She’s an overall dork, pizza addict, and fangirl. When not writing fantasy stories packed full of adventure and snark, she works as a pediatric Physical Therapist where she happily embraces the fact that she never actually has to grow up.

She writes New Adult/Adult fantasy as C.M. Banschbach.

Facebook  Instagram Website


What do you think? Doesn’t it sound AMAZING? (It is. I’ll be joining in the blog tour during release date to review it, hopefully!) And have you read any of Claire’s books? Who’s excited for this one? 😀

Emberhawk by Jamie Foley: Review!

Happy release day to this incredible adventuresome fantasy that I adored! Read on for my review, A.K.A. why you need to read this book at once. 😉

Title: Emberhawk

Author: Jamie Foley

  • Series: The Katrosi Revolution, #1
  • Date read: March 6-10, 2020
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2020
  • Pages: 337 (paperback)
  • Fave character: Ryon, Felix, and two slightly-spoiler-ish characters. 😀
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free ARC from the author and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleSigned CopiesOther BookstoresAuthor’s Website

Emberhawk is an absolutely delicious book, with swashbuckling adventure, a richly detailed world, and snarky characters I had a total blast reading about! I loved it so much!

I’m a huge fan of Jamie Foley’s Sentinel Trilogy, so I was thrilled to get to dive into the first book in a new series set in the same world! Emberhawk takes place over a thousand years before Sentinel and has a different feel but is an equally fabulous read. Sentinel fans, you’re going to love this book—and if you’re new to Jamie’s works, Emberhawk is the perfect book to start with! IT’S. SO. GOOD.

THE ADVENTURE

I was totally absorbed in this fresh take on a fantasy story, and just wanted to hang out with these characters forever. The plot kept me enthralled, following our main characters, and I love how there’s an exciting story on the surface that at first seems like a straight-up adventure, but also extra depth and schemes hidden beneath the surface that slowly comes to light, masterfully woven in.

There are secrets, spies, shifting alliances . . . tribes and settlers, a tyrannical empire . . . It was SO intriguing to follow the different political schemes threaded through the adventure and find out who’s working for who. All the characters were so multi-faceted. Nothing’s as it seems! There were some really thrilling twists, especially near the end, that had me shrieking. Eep! (Also, aaahhh! I need to find out what happened to a certain character! Where’s book two? *grabby hands*)

Snarky banter and humor, a bit of star-crossed lovers tossed in, a rich and layered world (I love the world-building so much!), and all of that on TOP of a super thrilling, adventurous tale . . . and all tied together with the fabulous writing I’ve come to expect of this author. It doesn’t get better than this! 😀

THE CHARACTERS

Our main characters Kira and Ryon make a fabulous pair. I loved them so much! Ryon is awesome and epic, and I love his heart of gold character. He’s just the best! Kira is a bit of a trapper/inventor and a spitfire. Their banter gives me life. XD I adored reading their story and I love them so much!

Not to mention the other fabulous characters! Some of them I feel like it would kiiind of be a spoiler if I mentioned their names? Especially with certain loyalties being up in the air for a lot of the book. XD But there were some EPIC side characters who really grew on me and I’m so excited to read more about them! A certain under-cover guy (you’ll know who it is by the end!) who’s one of my favorites, and a certain antihero assassin-type character who is verrry intriguing and I so hope there is more to his story!

Felix gets his own paragraph because Feliiiiix! XD Snarky fox elemental—what is not to love? He’s in the Sentinel Trilogy a bit and I was delighted to find him in this book as well! The snark, his way of dashing about on side-quests and sassing everyone and being absolutely epic, and turning into other cute or epic animals—aaahh! Just. This fox! He’s sooo much fun!

IN SUMMARY

Elementals, forest adventures, elemental fire and water magic, creepy d’hakka (huge tree-spider-scorpions! :O), different cultures and alliances, true love and friendship and siblings, arrows and fire and disrupted ordinary lives, a princess, an assassin, nefarious plots, lovable characters and snark and romance . . . There is SO much excitement and awesomeness in this book! *hugs Emberhawk forever*

I just adore it and I NEED book two! Fantasy lovers, here’s another book that needs to go on your to-read list ASAP. A complete delight! ❤


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Facebook Live (March 10, 2020)

Also, if you see this before 8pm Central on release day (March 10), be sure to drop by at that time for a Facebook Live party on Jamie Foley’s Facebook page with Q&A, giveaways, and the cover-reveal for book 2, Silverblood! 😀

Have you read any of Jamie Foley’s books? What do you think of this one? Thanks for reading! 🙂

Stephen R. Lawhead: In the Region of the Summer Stars (Review)

I have a new favorite book and today I get to shriek about it to you guys to tide me over until I get my hands on the next book in the series! *grins*

Title: In the Region of the Summer Stars

Author: Stephen R. Lawhead

  • Series: Eirlandia, #1
  • Date read: February 29, 2020
  • Rating: 5 stars! (Summer ones. ;))
  • Genre: Celtic Fantasy
  • Age: Adult
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 333 (hardcover)
  • Fave character: Conor
  • Source: Library
  • Links: GoodreadsBarnes & NobleAmazonAuthor’s Website
  • Quotes: “I sing because I have no more tears,” the bard replied.

Another deftly woven tale by master storyteller Stephen R. Lawhead, this book is sure to enchant fans new and old alike. It certainly delighted me! It felt like coming home. A new favorite! There are usually a handful of books each year that I want to award six out of five stars, and this is one of them.

Lawhead’s Bright Empires books are some of my favorites ever, so I was extremely excited to finally dive into Eirlandia. And book one has so lived up to my hopes! I love it so much and I can’t wait to read the second one soon to prep for the final book in the trilogy, releasing this summer. (Aaahh!)

I loved disappearing between the pages in this utterly absorbing tale, full of adventure and rich detail and characters who spring to life in this green land of wonders and warriors and words. I lived and breathed it, completely captivated. I love Celtic things, and this is a splendid Celtic Fantasy. I need more books like this!

A few things I loved:

THE SETTING + FEEL

From the first page I just felt so at home reading In the Region of the Summer Stars. The feel of this book touched my Irish soul and makes me think back on memories of the tales of old Ireland that I grew up listening to and reading about. Stepping through the page into Eirlandia made me so happy to just be there.

Welcome to a skillfully woven tale of warriors and druids and faery. Travel the rolling hills and secret forests and cliffs by the sea. Join these various clans and feel the strong themes of brothers-in-arms, honor, loyalty, and fierce bravery, but with dashes of good-natured humor. I didn’t know quite what I expected, but it was everything I wanted. ^_^

The way the characters talk is also great—I love how it has an Irish lilt to it just with the way they say things. It makes me happy. (And their lighthearted Irish sense of humor which is the best.) I also loved the familiar words and names, the rich history and lore they’re drawn from, and even the sounds of them. Brehons, Tuatha de Danann, Lughnasadh, Tylwyth Teg, Tir nan Og. Oenach, Aoife, Eamon, Brigantes. Harps and pipes and bodhran drums, checked cloaks and spears and brooches and torcs. Just all of it. ^_^ The sound and feel of it makes me happy like nothing else does aside from J. R. R. Tolkien’s world of The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings. (And yes, I do have an idea of how to pronounce most of those, I promise. XD)

THE PLAYERS

Then there’s Conor. Conor mac Ardan has this marvelous way of being clever and stubborn and loyal and thick-headed and chaotically reckless all in turn. He’s my favorite! I loved following him through the book on his journey. The way he comes up with the most outlandish plans that are sheer crazy and yet somehow he charges in and pulls them off—mostly. It’s the best! And yet he’s super smart, too, sometimes, and a really skilled warrior (honestly, though. So. Epic.), and you won’t meet a more loyal or honorable friend, either. Occasionally Madoc or Donal and Fergal have to smack some sense into him, but that just makes him all the more human. 😉 Conor is the best, okay! My new favorite hero.

I love the other inhabitants of this tale as well! Conor’s brothers-in-arms Donal and Fergal are fabulous. I love their camaraderie with Conor and each other, and their loyalty and joking around! It’s like the best kind of brother/buddy tale and I love it. Madoc is a marvelous mentor-type character—I loved him and his dryness and wisdom, and how he makes Conor work at figuring things out instead of just telling him things. 😛 Rhiannon is fascinating but I won’t spoil info about her. And so many other people. They’re all so real and I just loved reading about them! Oh, and the bits between some of the chapters, from the points of view of other characters than Conor, were fabulous and enlightening. So neat.

I loved seeing some good and wise druids (yesss) and bards, and the faery were magnificent. I was quite pleased with how they were written and hope to see more of them! They felt just right. Another thing I appreciated was the horses and how central they were to the story, and how the warriors cared for them. They were like characters themselves instead of just transportation that gets forgotten about like in some fantasy books. XD The attention to details like that was delightful.

THE STORY + ENDING

While it’s not non-stop action (though there is a bunch of that!), the story definitely kept me absorbed and on the edge of my seat the entire time, full of devious plots and intrigue and mysteries, which were fascinating to follow along as Conor and company attempted to untangle the threads to see the pattern lurking behind all the guile. Threats and invaders, cunning kings and betrayal, secrets and hidden schemes . . . it was all there!

(Just a heads-up that there were one or two scenes that were a tad dark or gruesome etc., so a brief caution to younger readers or those who prefer to avoid it. Other than a couple of parts, though, I wouldn’t have minded reading it in my teen years in the not-so-distant-past.)

There were some marvelous twists at the end that had me going WHAAAAT! :O That ending, though! It was sooo good. So many things going down. O_O I stayed up late and finished around midnight and WOW. It ended on a wee bit of a cliffhanger, so it did. 😉 I need to get my hands on a copy of In the Land of the Everliving as soon as I can, or sooner!

CONCLUSION

Ancient Ireland + warrior brothers-in-arms + mystery/adventure + faery + druids + delightful characters + masterful writing = what’s not to love? IT’S JUST SO GOOD. I love it so much!

In the Region of the Summer Stars was magnificent and blew me away. I’m thrilled to have stepped into Eirlandia in this tale, and I can’t wait to go back. ❤


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Any Lawhead fans out there? Have you read this one? What do you think? Thanks for reading! 🙂