Category Archives: Young Adult

Review: Wings of Chaos by Travis Simmons

NEWLY RELEASED…..

Review:

This series has been a long journey of discovery for the protagonists and the readers. Here, On the Wings of Chaos, we finally learn a bit more about the original four, Angelica, Jovian, Joya and Amber. They go back to their original goal of looking for their sister Amber. As usual there is a lot happening around them and a few glimpses of what is about to unfold in their future is very fascinating. In his detailed descriptions which are nearly photographic, Travis Simmons has managed to awe his readers again with the transfusion of the clean Wyrd into Sara.
Other transformations are also commendable but this one’s my favourite.

Dear Readers, do read all the books to get an all round experience of the world of the Wyrd. Just one review of one book in the middle of the series does not do justice.

On Wings of Chaos (The Revenant Wyrd Saga #5)

The captivating sequel to A Guardian of Shadows.

In the mystical lands of the Great Realms, Angelica, Jovian, and Joya search for their kidnapped sister, Amber. Their quest has led them through many dangers and revelations, but nothing has prepared them for what’s about to come.

A dream reveals what Angelica and Jovian are, but what does it mean for their future? There’s little time to dwell on this, for the chaos dwarves, the scourge of the Realm of Earth, are gathering at the gates of the Guardian’s Keep. The dwarves have the stone Wyrders’ Bane, and they’ve shown they know how to unleash its plague upon all those who wield the magical force of wyrd. With casters neutralized, a mighty blow has been dealt to the allied forces. The dwarves and trolls attack the keep, and the struggle to survive the war in the north is upon them.

Angelica, Jovian, and Joya’s journey is far from easy, but the future looks even bleaker when visions of a gathering darkness in the west and a congregation of angels could mark the beginning of the final war on the Ever After.

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About the Author

Travis has been writing since he was 14. He began writing a book called “The Calling of the Two” and while writing that on and off he started uncovering another idea.

“Yes, this is all well and good, but what about before? What happened in the world before these characters came into it?” He always knew there was a “before” and as he started wondering about it he got ideas. At first they were little ideas but as he discovered the names for his characters a whole story about them emerged.

Travis started working on The Revenant Wyrd Saga several years back and he is very happy he did because hearing and documenting Jovian and Angelica’s story has been one wild ride for him. He has also written the Infernal Design series.

He lives in a small town at the base of the Adirondack Mountains and hoofing around my neck of the woods gives him a ton of inspiration for his novels. He loves research, and speculating on different ideas and theories.

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Also available in The Revenant Wyrd Saga

  

 

(Book 6 coming August)

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Review: The Mirror of the Moon by Travis Simmons

After a rather flamboyant start with The Bonds of Blood (The Revenant Wyrd Saga Book 1), Travis Simmons jumps right into the story ,where he left off, with The Mirror of the Moon.

Jovian, Angelica and Joya Neferis are on a quest to rescue their sister Amber, who has been abducted by an evil sorceress, with the help of their elusive guide Grace. As their journey progresses they soon realize that there is more to Grace than meets the eye and she hasn’t been telling them the whole truth. The series of unfortunate, sinister and dark events that are unfolding have larger implications and involve all of them to a larger conspiracy of evil.

As a sequel The Mirror of the Moon is as action packed and detailed as The Bonds of Blood but, it tends to lose pace right in the middle of the drama. Every time Simmons switches between scenes there are a few pages where the writer, the reader and the characters are all lost in the woods and then they suddenly get their act together and start being exciting again! As a traveller, I understand that because there are periods of monotony or inaction during every journey. But, this is a book, a journey of epic proportions undertaken in a magical space by the Neferis children who are a part of a greater plot, so, I would expect a little more excitement. However, there is no compromise on the writers part when it comes to creating this magical space. The astonishing details brings the world alive for readers. Every culture, character, creature that the Neferis children meet has a rich cultural background thus reinforcing the idea of the magical world they live in and also providing  a believable context for the reader.

If you have been following the Revenant Wyrd Saga I suggest you read The Mirror of the Moon. If you are not, please do go back and read The Bonds of Blood.

The Revenant Wyrd Saga cannot be and should not be read as stand alone books because every story is connected to a greater consciousness, or as the blurb suggests one consciousness. Evil or good is yet to be revealed.

The Mirror Of The Moon (The Revenant Wyrd Saga #2) 

The exciting sequel to The Bonds of Blood.

In the mystical lands of the Great Realms,twenty-one year-old Angelica, Jovian, and Joya pair up with their mentor Grace in pursuit of their kidnapped sister and heir to their plantation, Amber. Their quest suddenly changes when an ancient enemy of their family, Porillon, appears with Amber. A dangerous battle ensues, threatening one of their lives, and a new insight about their family is revealed, making the group question what Grace knows, and what she might be hiding. Porillon slips away with Amber, but Angelica and Jovian’s visions hint that their sister may have been taken to the Mirror of the Moon, an ancient temple dedicated to the Goddess.

Finding sanctuary with the elves and dwarves in the Mountains of Nependier, the group presses Grace to answer questions about their family’s past. Their insistence leads to a revelation the youths aren’t ready to handle. While they are still reeling from the news, Angelica and Jovian begin to feel a strange new consciousness waking inside of them, and what’s more unnerving, it’s taking over their individual thoughts…and joining them into one.

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About the Author
Travis has been writing since he was 14.  He began writing a book called “The Calling of the Two” and while writing that on and off he started uncovering another idea.

“Yes, this is all well and good, but what about before? What happened in the world before these characters came into it?” He always knew there was a “before” and as he started wondering about it he got ideas. At first they were little ideas but as he discovered the names for his characters a whole story about them emerged.Travis started working on The Revenant Wyrd Saga several years back and he is very happy he did because hearing and documenting Jovian and Angelica’s story has been one wild ride for him.  He has also written the Infernal Design series.

He lives in a small town at the base of the Adirondack Mountains and hoofing around my neck of the woods gives him a ton of inspiration for his novels.   He loves research, and speculating on different ideas and theories.

 

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Also available in The Revenant Wyrd Saga

  

(Book #4 due May 2014)

 

(coming soon)

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Photobucket I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY !!

 

 

One lucky winner will receive a $10 Amazon Giftcard

 

Open Worldwide

 

Ending on Sunday 1st June at 11.59pm EST 

 

 

 

Enter Below & Good Luck !!

 

Excerpt: Far-Knowing by Melinda Brasher

Far-Knowing Book Cover

“I picked this up from a trader a few days back. Would you take a look at it, tell me what you think it’s worth?” Kallinesha kept the ring in her fist, out of sight, so Daistar would have to take it in his own hand to examine it.

He stared at her fist, stared into her eyes. Then he reached out and she dropped it into his waiting hand. Instantly she felt more alive, freed of the sleep enchantment bound to the ring. She set her hand on her dagger, just in case.

He turned it over in his hand several times. His eyes should be drooping by now. He should be thinking of his nice soft bed, the smooth linen, the quiet peace of an afternoon nap. But when he spoke there was nothing sleepy about his words. “It’s gold, I believe, but not very fine work.”

The baron leaned forward. “I hope you didn’t pay much for it.”

What? The beauty enchantment should have dazzled a man like the baron, who clearly liked his comfort. But when Kallinesha looked again at the ring, it no longer sparkled as before.

Daistar was staring at her again, and she feared she’d exposed her surprise.

“Maybe if you put it on…” she faltered.

He slid it halfway down his ring finger, twisted it, held it out to admire it, then took it off again. He grabbed her wrist, roughly, and pressed the ring into her palm. The sleep enchantment, she knew at once, was gone. How had he broken it so quickly? Mistress took hours to unravel spells as strong as the ones they’d cast. This was power as she’d never before seen. She had to stop him. She tightened her hold on the dagger. She’d only have one chance. It had to be his throat. But his hand was still on her wrist, and he tightened his grip.

“I wouldn’t, if I were you,” he whispered, as pain burst into life where he touched her.

His other hand, she saw, was on his own dagger, and she was sure beyond any doubt, without any magic to tell her so, that he’d had a lifetime more practice than she had. A mage and a warrior.

She took her hand off her dagger, jerked away from him, and stood up.

“Baron Selkimear, I believe I must see to my servant. Thank you for the sumptuous refreshment.”

She fully expected not to live to see the outside of the dining hall.

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http://www.melindabrasher.com

Heritage (The Grimoire Saga #3) by S.M.Boyce

HeritageKara Magari isn’t normal, even by Ourea’s standards—and in a world of shape-shifters and soul stealers, that’s saying something. To the royalty, she’s a loose cannon. To the masses, she’s a failure. But Kara’s arrival in Ourea started a war, and she’s going to end it. An ancient isen named Stone takes an interest in Kara’s training, and it turns out he has more answers than he originally led her to believe. In an effort to unearth a secret that might end the bloodshed, Kara instead discovers an ugly truth about her family—and how much she has in common with an infamous mass-murderer.

Braeden Drakonin has slowly rebuilt his life after the betrayal that tore it apart. His father wants him dead, and frankly, his so-called allies wouldn’t mind that either. Private alliances are formed. Secrets are sold. Tension is driving the armies apart. A single battle will end this war, and it’s coming. Braeden may be a prince, but it will take more than that to survive. He must take the fight to his father’s door—and win.

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Heritage (The Grimoire Saga, #3)Heritage by S.M. Boyce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Heritage is all about life lessons and inheritance. Kara, finally learns to be a hero and is no longer the social outcast of the masses and the scapegoat of Ourea’s rulers. Boyce surpasses herself in the skilful manipulation of characters and it leaves you wondering, who is good or evil? or, how many shades of grey are there? As Kara finds out, at an expense, heroes are not knights in shining armour, their heroism depends on perception and the telling of the story.

Heritage is also all about relationships and unlike the previous two of the Grimoire Saga, Boyce has concentrated on developing relationships more than weaving the fantasy world. In a way Heritage is more of Paranormal Romance than Fantasy Fiction. Whether, Heritage will set a tone, for the rest of the series, is yet to be seen.

However, the slower pace is probably the lull before the storm. The forces of Ourea are gathering and changing sides swiftly, like a rising crescendo before an impending war. Every character has their own agenda and Boyce makes it all very believable. You can actually relate to some of the crises and recognize the reasons for personal vendettas.

On the whole Illusion promises a lot of drama and action in Fall 2014. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

S.M. BoyceInternational Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries. Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.

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Giveaway:

One Lucky Winner will get a Signed Copy of Lichgates (Grimoire Saga #1) by S.M.Boyce.

Giveaway Open to US Residents Only.

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Treason (The Grimoire Saga #2) by S.M.Boyce

TreasonKara Magari ignited a war when she stumbled into Ourea and found the Grimoire: a powerful artifact filled with secrets. To protect the one person she has left, she strikes a deal that goes against everything she believes in. But things don’t go as planned.

Braeden Drakonin can no longer run from who—and what —he is. He has to face the facts. He’s a prince. He’s a murderer. He’s a wanted man. And after a betrayal that leaves him heartbroken, he’s out for blood. To survive, both Kara and Braeden must become the evil each has grown to hate.

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Treason (The Grimoire Saga, #2)Treason by S.M. Boyce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Treason starts right where we left Kara and Braedon in Lichgates and is very fast paced. Boyce does not spend too much time with further descriptions and plunges right into the story. When I finished Lichgates I expected certain turns that the story might take in Treason. But I was surprised and delighted to find unforeseen twists in the plot. While Lichgates was a brilliant debut novel with stunning descriptions and imagination, Treason showcases Boyce’s skills in character development and storytelling. She is exceptionally good at creating villainous characters. While Carden’s villainy will leave you outraged, the others are plotting, scheming and sometimes normal people.

What I also liked about Boyce’s style is that she rarely leaves any questions unanswered for too long. You don’t have to wait till the end of the series to find out what was left for Kara by her father. Moreover Kara matures into a powerful figure and Braeden stops being confused all the time. Romance and relationships play a large role in Treason and I believe it sets a tone for future books in the series. Another character, who develops into a pivotal role is Twin. While reading Lichgates I formed certain opinions about her and I am sure all readers will, but Twin’s role in Treason is quite different from what I had expected. To avoid spoilers, I’ll just say, I am still expecting Twin to become a character with more shades of grey.

The versatility of Boyce’s storytelling is revealed by the fact that she doesn’t have too many obvious cliffhangers holding the plot together. Instead, she has new characters with their own twists in the tale. The political nature and the feuds make Ourea really believable but I couldn’t help drawing parallels with real world situations. As a result the underlying tension and strain in the book is quite palpable and makes it a faster read. I finished reading Treason faster than Lichgates!

I would really like to ask Boyce, whether she considers playing chess akin to writing the Grimoire Saga. Treason reminded me of a convoluted game of strategy with pawns in a major role. I would recommend Treason to lovers of fantasy fiction, but it is essential to read Lichgates first and absolutely vital to read Heritage, if you don’t want to lose your mind, wondering, what happens next?

S.M. BoyceInternational Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries. Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.

Connect with the Author:

Giveaway:

One Lucky Winner will get a Signed Copy of Lichgates (Grimoire Saga #1) by S.M.Boyce.

Giveaway Open to US Residents Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lichgates (The Grimoire Saga #1) by S.M.Boyce

Grimoire Saga #1Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea. Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With no way out, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea’s royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict—a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.

For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

Goodreads

Lichgates: Book One of the Grimoire Saga (a Young Adult Fantasy Series)Lichgates: Book One of the Grimoire Saga by S.M. Boyce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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A Lychgate or a Lichgate is the name of a traditional roofed entrance. I was delighted to find the how little details can help build up fantasy world. Lichgates in S.M. Boyce’s world are magical entrances or portents to Ourea and its various kingdoms. This clever weaving of lost language items makes Ourea even more believable. Although I found similarities with several epic fantasies, they did not put me off, instead it enhanced the pleasure of reading Lichgates and strengthened the magical premises of Kara Magire’s new world. The appearance of a female Vagabond  may have shocked the Oureans but I really enjoyed reading about the development of a female magical protagonist. However much I like Harry Potter, Eragon , or Ged of the Earthsea trilogies, there is something about a female mage that most fantasy writers don’t do justice to. They are almost always fobbed off as supporting cast for a brilliant plot.

The plot develops slowly but the pace quickens around halfway. A slower pace allowed Boyce to build up the interpersonal dynamics of Ourea in greater details but it might deter readers who like to cut to the chase quickly. To those I would suggest that they read on because the Grimoire Saga shows great promise and I can’t wait to read the rest!

I like the fact that Braeden is a character with many shades of grey. In the beginning you might think that this is one of those fantasy romances but you will be pleasantly surprised. Kara and Braeden share a great chemistry but what they want from life and their roles in this fantastic drama is completely different. What could have been a bit more imaginative was a term for the royals. Calling them Bloods doesn’t compare with what Boyce has shown she is capable of. However, I am happy with Bloods as long as the rest of the saga is as good a read as Lichgates.

S.M. BoyceInternational Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries. Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.

Connect with the Author:

Giveaway:

One Lucky Winner will get a Signed Copy of Lichgates (Grimoire Saga #1) by S.M.Boyce.

Giveaway Open to US Residents Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway