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Review: A Guardian of Shadows by Travis Simmons

NEWLY RELEASED …..

Review

Amber is still lost but, we now know what ails the Realm of the Earth. The constant evolving pace of the Revenant Wyrd Saga is what keeps me hooked. Series often tend to get watered down and Simmons has had his moments too but, the story is beautifully told in a vivid and imaginary world which is quite believable.

Unpredictability is key in this series. I did not expect Amber to remain lost still but, that also ensures that other characters who had minor roles in the beginning had a chance to flourish and become equally important to the plot. This sequel leaves the readers with a series of questions and paves a way for The Wings of Chaos. Will one of the siblings become a guardian? When will Amber be found? Who are the Wyr? Whose beliefs about the Wyr are true? What lives within the Shadow Realm?

To answer all your questions please do read the series The Revenant Wyrd Saga. You might feel a lot of things if you do start reading the series but, I promise you will not be bored.

A Guardian of Shadows (The Revenant Wyrd Saga #4)

The thrilling sequel to The Well of Wyrding.

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

The wyr are alive, the Two who were never supposed to exist. They are destined to control the wyrd and fate of all mankind. Their very existence is destroying the world tree, on whose roots the fate of man is etched, and causing the Well of Wyrding, which sustains the world tree, to dissolve. Now Angelica and Jovian are hunted by the Norns, those three sisters of fate who guard the world tree and live at its roots, observing and preserving fate, who believe Angelica and Jovian are the wyr.

Angelica, Joya, and Jovian are on a race to escape the Norns as well as find their sister Amber, but with no clue where she could be, they turn their attention toward home, deep in the Holy Realm. The problem? Between them and their destination is the accursed land of eternal night: the Shadow Realm. Rumored to be filled with nightmarish creatures, forsaken to its shadowy depths, the Shadow Realm promises death to any from the Holy Realm who dare enter.

Buy the Book from …

Amazon.co.uk         Amazon.com

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.

Follow the Author…..

Website   Facebook   Twitter   Google+   Pinterest   Goodreads

Also available in The Revenant Wyrd Saga

  

 

(Books #5 due July 2014, #6 due August 2014)

Follow The Tour

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 27th July at 11.59pm EST   Enter Below & Good Luck !!   a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review: The Well of Wyrding by Travis Simmons

The Well of Wyrding is the third book of the Revenant Wyrd Saga, where the journey continues. Other than the toxic magical presence of the Well of Wyrding, which is the main theme of this book, the book also provides answers, clues and more pieces to the puzzle. Unpredictability is key, Travis Simmons  and his imagination has as usual kept the readers guessing. The main characters have been further developed and we now know more about some of the supporting cast like Grace, Dalah and Rosalee.

Travis Simmons has also been very consistent with the pace of the book and constant development of the world he has created. The Well of Wyrding is a crucial piece of the puzzle the Revenant Wyrd Saga is, without it the rest of the books would fall apart. However, this also means that a detailed discussion about it would be fraught with spoilers!

Once again, to a reader who hasn’t been following the saga, reading from the beginning is the only way to enjoy the Revenant Wyrd Saga.

 

The Well of Wyrding (The Revenant Wyrd Saga #3)

“Experience the long anticipated sequel to The Mirror of the Moon.

In the fantastical lands of the Great Realms, Angelica, Jovian, and Joya are on the search for their older sister Amber, who has been kidnapped by the villain, Porillon. But Amber has slipped away from all of them, and where she has gone is as big a mystery as why she was taken. While they are searching for their sister, Porillon strikes a staggering blow to the entire land.

The Well of Wyrding, a mythic well which contains the magic and fate of every creature in the Great Realms, has been poisoned creating havoc as the magic power of wyrd becomes toxic.

While Grace, Rosalee, and Dalah seek a way to purify the Well of Wyrding, wyrd is going haywire, buildings fashioned with wyrd are turning to pinnacles of terror; wyrd is working against its casters; and people are taking up arms against the threat sorcerers and their kind pose.

But the toxic wyrd is causing a new problem to arise. They are called caustics: those wyrders who have been completely taken over by their chaotic wyrd. Husks of what they once were, they are now a vessel for Chaos in the realms.”

Buy the Book from…..

Amazon.co.uk     Amazon.com

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.

Follow the Author

Website  Facebook  Twitter  Google+  Pinterest  Goodreads

Also available in The Revenant Wyrd Saga

  

 

(coming soon)

Follow The Tour

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 29th June at 11.59pm EST   Enter Below & Good Luck !!   a Rafflecopter giveaway

J. D. Robb #atozchallenge

concealed in deathMuch as I have loved reading Nora Roberts’ aka J.D. Robb’s in Death series over the years, I am sorry to say that I’ll have to stop reading them. There are 41 books in the series now and up until book 36, Calculated in Death, high standards of writing, plot and characters were maintained. However, there was a gradual deterioration after that and the latest, Concealed in Death, appears to be written by someone else completely. I do not recognize the style of writing and there is a distinct lack of clarity in the plot. It is as if someone tried to copy J. D. Robb but did a bad job.

However, I am grateful for all the happy times and edgy moments I’ve had with the series. Two of my favourites being:

n269271. Naked in Death, this is the first book in the series, where the readers are introduced to Eve Dallas a NYPSD (New York Police and Security Department, a fictional mid 21st century police department created by the author) Lieutenant and a business tycoon Roarke, who is another major character throughout the series.

Naked in Death completely hooked me and I knew this was a series I had to follow. The in Death books have every ingredient that I love. There is crime, drama, romance, fantasy and a bit of futuristic thrown in.

 

To those who haven’t read the series please follow the link down below to the J.D. Robb website. The ‘story so far’ as quoted below is from the fans section of the website.

IN DEATH—THE STORY SO FAR

Spoiler Alert! Contains key plot points from the In Death series. Please see the full books list for a quick series reference.

The In Death series begins in the year 2058 (with Naked in Death, July 1995), after an outbreak of warfare a few decades earlier known as the Urban Wars wreaked havoc across the globe and led to widespread destruction and death. After the wars, cities focused on renewal and revitalization. A series of resorts and vacation spots, such as Vegas II, exist off-planet in space, which is also where the majority of prison populations exist. On-planet, streets are filled with cars on the ground and in the air, able to switch between hovering and driving. Multiple high-tech gadgets exist in this era, like the AutoChef, which cooks meals and brews coffee, and ‘links, which are types of videophones used as a means of communication, but can also transfer data and hold information, almost like a circa 2010 PDA or smart phone.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas works as a homicide detective for the NYPSD (New York Police and Security Department). In the first book of the series, Naked in Death, Eve is a loner when she first meets Roarke, an enigmatic Irish billionaire and a suspect in her most recent case. Although it jeopardizes her case and her career, she falls for him and Roarke becomes her first and only love. They get engaged at the end of Glory in Death, the second book, after Roarke replicates Eve’s former apartment in his house and she moves in. Eve continues to grapple with their relationship and her growing dependence on him during the first two books. The couple is married shortly after the end of book three, Immortal in Death.

It is Eve’s childhood that continues to torment her: she was abused and repeatedly molested by her father, a seasoned criminal, and her apathetic mother was a drug addict and prostitute. At age eight, Eve was found in an alley in Dallas, Texas, covered in blood and with no memory of who she was or what happened. She was given the name Eve and put into foster care. Eve’s foster mother was no saint in the ten years that she had Eve under her roof, and she resurfaces in Memory in Death (book twenty-three), to blackmail Roarke to keep Eve’s childhood out of the headlines. Because of her ability to solve the more difficult and high-profile cases, Eve had recently become a media darling.

Through nightmare flashbacks, Eve comes to learn what happened to her before her childhood memory loss and has the worst of these in Immortal in Death (book three) when she realizes she stabbed her father to death while he was attacking her. Eve begins to piece together the fragments of her childhood from these flashbacks, and more than once, it involves a connection to a current case, like in Judgment in Death (book eleven), where the perpetrator was a business associate of her father’s, and from whom her father stole money. Once Eve marries Roarke, the nightmares become less wracking because he is one of the few people in her life to give her unconditional love and she feels safe with him. Throughout their relationship, their previous demons become less haunting as they build a life of love and trust, the first real family either has ever known.

Though Eve has solved homicides of every conceivable nature, she doesn’t solve every case immediately, or sometimes at all. A recent case came back to haunt Eve in Creation in Death (book twenty-five), when a serial killer who she never caught, nicknamed The Groom, returned to claim Eve as his final kill. But because of her own horrific childhood, the cases Eve finds most difficult are those centered on missing and exploited children and she often becomes deeply entrenched in the lives of the victims, seeking justice with an obsessive intensity.

Eve is an honest cop, though her passion for the job leads her to sometimes make emotional decisions that come back to haunt her. In fact, much of Eve’s strength comes from her flaws. She has been investigated by Internal Affairs, even having her badge taken away in Conspiracy in Death (book eight) when she is suspected of killing another cop. In Ceremony in Death (book five), Eve takes on a case behind the back of her former partner and mentor Captain Feeney, and puts strain on their relationship.

Many of Eve’s cases also have a personal impact on her and Roarke, especially given both of their fathers have extensive criminal pasts. In Divided in Death (book nineteen), Roarke confirms that his father was in Dallas doing business with Eve’s father right before she killed him in self-defense, connecting the two even then. In Judgment in Death (book eleven), a former business associate of Roarke’s is seeking retaliation by attempting to kill Eve. In many ways, this couple was destined to be together.

As Eve’s trust grows, she allows others in, and even begins to depend on them, forming a tight circle of confidantes, colleagues, and friends, who are all recurring characters in the series

                       Source: J.D. Robb.com

download2. Conspiracy in Death is a favourite for no other reason than it complicates matters by Eve Dallas being suspended from the job while on an investigation. This story tests the strength of each character profile. What I enjoy about these books are how strong all the women characters are, somewhere women in the world now would like to be. However, strong female characters does not mean that the males are weak. They are not. It is a beautiful and ideal balance. What is not to love about a world where you can fly over the approaching traffic and escape it!

Gender equality is a reality. Man has conquered other planets and the common man can travel there. Unfortunately quality of air travel has deteriorated for the economy traveller. Both, for intercontinental as well as inter-galactic.

I’ll be sad not to read about life in the 2060’s any longer but I’ll keep an eye out for reviews. If the next book is better and more authentic than the last, then, why not?

Honest Reviews #atozchallenge

I always review honestly but unfortunately some authors do not like it. No one likes negative criticism and sometimes it is mean to trash a book that has clearly not made the mark. When I come across a book which I genuinely can’t say anything good about I don’t review it. However there are always those books which you know could have been better. You can see that the author had a lot to say but got lost in the process of writing. To those authors I like to provide a balanced review. I point out the good and the bad in the book. What I liked, disliked and what I expected.

Isn’t that why I review? Doesn’t an honest opinion matter any more? Wouldn’t it be better to take the constructive criticism during a blog tour and not be in denial. Because at some point of time genuine readers will read your books and if they don’t like it they’ll tell more people. Better still save yourself while dedicated book reviewers are still reading your ARCs.

A common theme in every blog tour is that if you rate a book less than 4 we have to tell the author because they might not want such a review. What are we all so scared of? I read a lot of 3.5 books and like it. I might just like books that are less popular.

I understand that a blog tour is often just publicity, then why have reviews at all?

I also know that after my stance on honest reviews a lot of authors might decline to let me read their books! Sorry, but I’d hate it if someone recommended a book to me and it wasn’t good enough. I am sure you would hate it too.

Looking at the C-lver Screen by KM #atozchallenge

Brad Pitt Cinema. Anybody interested in anagrams will have noticed that rather modestly, the word itself says ‘am nice’. In fact, it is magical. But I don’t want to turn pseudo-critic and deliver an essay on the art of cinema. I want to share three (because that’s the date) anecdotes related to cinema and cinema halls, in no particular order.

1. I was rather disappointed with Hollywood movie The Fighter. Christian Bale, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, plays a drug addict in the film, and hence, his look in specific and the film in general were very different from what I had hoped for – something more in the lines of The Dark Knight. But that is not why I remember this film. Turns out people book cheap tickets for a morning show of an Oscar-winning film for different reasons. Making out, for example. The hall was hardly filled to 30% of its capacity. There was probably no one else in my row. Halfway through the film, feeling as if someone was pushing my seat with her/his feet, I turned back irritated. A couple was sitting behind me; the guy on the seat and the girl on his lap. While he seemed to be dividing his attention between the screen and his partner, her entire attention was given to such gestures of interest as would have won any film at least a U/A certificate. No doubt the show behind me could have given competition to the show going on in front, but I felt no interest in watching it. In fact, I lost no time in moving to a different seat. I doubt if they noticed, but I was certainly relieved. In a short time, I realised that those two were not the only couple who had felt horny, been told to get a room, and had the bright idea of using one which also happened to be a cinema hall. After a much milder version of this experience was repeated the same year while watching Bollywood flick My Name is Khan, I added a private cinema hall to my list of things to get if and when I am rich.

2. A film where Brad Pitt gets younger with every passing year – well, you got me at Brad. When I sat down to watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I found myself beside a group of excited young girls – of the age where going to watch a film with friends is still deliciously novel. I remember two of their reactions very well, and rather fondly. One was at a scene where Brad Pitt is driving a motor boat, white foam swelling up all around the boat as he cruises through the blue water, his hair flying in the wind. The character was getting older, and so Brad was looking younger. Sigh. As his boat curved into the screen, the group of girls beside me gave a collective gasp. I had outgrown the age of gasps. I merely widened my eyes. But in my mind, I uttered a sympathetic ‘I know!”

The second reaction was at a love-making scene. It wasn’t intense or explicit at all; on the other hand, rather playful. When the couple on screen kissed, the girls beside me seemed to hold their breaths. But when it appeared to be in undress (white sheets, bare shoulders), they seemed to be divided between fascination and shock. I believe there were a couple of ‘tut-tut’s. It seemed as if my young fellow-viewers still enjoyed a platonic notion of love. Probably they were already on the verge of outgrowing it, but that reaction at that moment felt rather sweet.

Years later, while watching Hindi candy floss Student of the Year, I found myself near a similar group, and this time, the collective gasps went out whenever newcomers Varun Dhawan or Siddharth Malhotra ran in slo-mo or emerged from the water topless. I had grown older, and they are no Brad Pitt. This time, I merely thought, “Oh please!”

3. Shall I write about the first movie I watched alone? Or the first movie for which I purchased tickets in ‘black’ (from illegal sellers outside the hall)? The movie that was withdrawn from halls four days after its release? Or the one I watched from the first row, sitting on my father’s lap, getting bitten by mosquitoes, as a four-year-old? Maybe someday I should try and write down all those stories. This time, I want to finish with something common to every time I have watched a film on big screen. No matter how mediocre it turned out to be, no matter how little I expected of it, every time the curtains have gone up inside a cinema hall, the lights have gone out and silence has descended, I have felt a thrill of anticipation. As if something wonderful is about to begin. It’s been 20 years since Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (one of the first ‘Bollywood blockbusters’) released, but I still love its title song; I still remember Madhuri Dixit blushing and Salman Khan smiling in the deceptively innocent manner he reserves for Suraj Barjatya’s family entertainers. Probably because it was the first time that I had the feeling – as the titles began rolling and the music started playing – of being ushered into a new, magical and fascinating world.

To cinema.Cheers.

KM

KM is my friend and reclusive writer who loves sharing her words but not her identity. Her blog Tithi Katha (translated as, ‘Tithi’s Tales’) is a treasure trove of her life experiences and vivid imagination. So, this April, the social media friendly me is going to share with you, every Thursday, KM’s writing. So stay tuned for more.

The A to Z April Blogging Challenge

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cBooks and stories have always been an integral part of my life. I’ve grown up reading, listening to and daydreaming stories. Somewhere down the line a few thousand books and a million stories later I started The Book Drifter, after accepting the fact that I am better at observation and analysis than dreaming up a fantasy. However, there are those authors who are not so good at promoting their own work but are brilliant writers. This blog is about those writers and of course readers.

My A to Z April challenge will be shared by my friend and writer KM. She loves remaining anonymous, guards her privacy ferociously and writes beautifully in English and Bengali. To sample some of her pieces visit her blog http://tithikatha.wordpress.com/about/ . She would love for people to get to know her through her writing.

KM will be guest posting on my blog every Thursday in April 2014 and if we are both feeling agreeable, if the challenge is a success and she likes my promotion we might consider more posts from her. In return for reducing my 52 posts to 48, I will be on social media doing all that I do to promote her work. So, watch out for this space, her first post will be on 3rd April 2014 starting with the letter ‘C’. Go to her blog and have a read. Can you guess what she might write about?

In other news, the Drifting Traveller has been sampling cocktails!