The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana is book two in the Ialana series and picks up right where book the first one left off. What was your inspiration for the setup of this story and how did that help you create the ending?
In the setup for the second book, I wanted to bring in two very diverse, but related, elements to play off each other. The first one was the continuation of the training of the Six in elemental command, and the advanced use of crystals. The second was the power struggle for control of Ialana by the ruling classes.
I wanted to further illustrate how the forgotten laws of the universe, otherwise known as “magic”, can be used for opposite ends. When someone understands fully how the universe works, that actions always have consequences, and what those consequences may be, then they will not abuse this knowledge to gain personal power over others. To do this knowingly would feel insane to them. On the other hand, when someone learns only how to manipulate power for his or her own purposes, without understanding the consequences, then they will always suffer the inevitable consequences. This, I felt, produced a satisfactory ending, as the natural laws of the universe came into play.
The Six go through a thrilling and perilous journey to make it home while avoiding a shape shifting king. Is there any moral or idea that you hope readers take away from the story?
The perils the Six faced were the results, or consequences, of the misuse of power by others. It is the same in the real world, the one we inhabit. The monstrous creatures the Six encountered could be seen by us as disease, poverty, ignorance, and despair—the consequences of misunderstanding or ignorance of the laws of the universe. It is also known in this world as Karma. It doesn’t have to be personal to one to experience consequences of others’ actions and their misuse of power. It affects everyone at some point, but I also wanted to stress that when one is willing to learn, then one can find protection in knowledge, create a different reality for themselves, and avoid needless suffering.
Just like in book one, the characters are all well developed. What were some of the trials that you felt were important to highlight the characters development?
The Buddhists believe that suffering produces growth. For me, it seems unnecessary when one understands how to use the laws of the universe correctly, but in many instances, suffering works, and the trials the Six went through all contributed to more understanding about themselves. For example, in the first book, it was difficult for them to work together as a team. They did not understand their goal, their past, or about the nature of reality. Once they went through different trials together, they learned how to work as a team, understanding what their common goal was.
Another thing that occurs to me, is that one appreciates knowledge so much more when it has not come easily, and, it does make the books so much more entertaining!
What is the next story that you’re writing and when will it be published?
The next one is already published. It is the third in the series, The Six and Anwyn of Ialana. This book continues with the adventures of the Six, only with some exciting new characters, and an old enemy that resurfaces, but in a more frightening form. The difficulties for the Six in this book ramp up in tandem with their abilities and responsibilities. With great power often comes even greater responsibility, and this book will not disappoint.
I am working on a fourth in the series, no title as yet, but this one promises to be the best one so far. I have learned much from the first three books, and I also wanted to take the Six in a new direction and bring in problems they had not faced before. This book has a whole new feel to it, but it does retain the elements of mystery and adventure that my readers have enjoyed, while keeping the characters intact, and introducing even more challenges for them.
While this book is still in the early stages, it should be published sometime in 2017. My website and Facebook page will keep readers updated.
The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana is now in the production stages of audio book narration by the same talented narrator, Jeff Hays, who narrated the first book. I intend to release all books of the series in audio, as well as ebook and print, in 2017.
In a seamless continuation of the first book in the series, “The Six and the Crystals of Ialana”, the six healers find themselves caught in the midst of a power struggle between the competing rulers of Ialana. Unable to complete their healing mission, to heal mutants who were genetically altered by crystal manipulation, they flee the Galonese warlord, Ortzi, and attempt a dangerous journey back to their homes in northern Ialana. Trapped by malevolent creatures, hunted by a monster who seeks them for reasons of its own, and on the run from a king and a conniving shape-shifter, there seems to be no place of safety for them. Will they find the mysterious abode of the Gardeners? Who are the Gardeners, and what is their purpose for the Six? Will The Six be able to find Queen Catrin, who sets off on a quest of her own, or will Catrin run afoul of her husband, King Brenin, before she can find The Six? In The Gardeners of Ialana, the Six explore the mysteries of healing, elemental command, and through many more trials, learn their true purpose in life.
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Book two of the Ialana series by Kaitlynn Brooke picks up right where book one, The Six and the Crystals of Ialana, left off. Because of this, it’s essential to have read the first book to understand the previous experiences of the six healers, and this review cannot avoid mild spoilers for book one.
Jarah, Tristan, Kex, Djana, Teagan and Adain take some time to rest and regroup. With the help of their friends, they head to the kingdom of Galon to continue healing the animalistic Trueni return to human forms. There are other survivors of the disaster and the remnants of Armafalus’ leadership vie for control. Blaidd is rescued by a beautiful woman named Branwyn who takes him under her wing to help rebuild the city.
When the Six get to Galon, they start their work. As they begin to heal the Trueni there, they gain the attention of a warlord as well as a shapeshifter and are forced to flee. With the help of their mentor Irusan, they run for home, hoping to find their families. To do so, they must journey through territory filled with dangerous, mutated creatures. Irusan has told them to find the Gardeners, who will aid and teach them. They also have an unknown ally—Queen Catrin of Galon—who is on a quest to find them before her husband does.
I enjoyed the first book and was happy to read the second. Katlynn Brooke delivers more exciting adventure for the Six. With Armafalus’ grip on power shattered, leadership and domination are up for grabs, and the scramble for political control is on. Several factions believe if they can find the Six, their abilities to use the crystals will turn the tide in their favor. It’s quite realistic, and the manipulative struggle for power on both sides is well done. When the Six find the Gardeners, their skills and understanding of both crystal and elemental power deepens, and helps them understand their place and role in this multi-layered world.
There are a lot of characters to follow, but most of them are so fleshed-out as individuals that it’s not difficult to remember who is who. When it comes to the healers, Jarah does most of the talking for the group, but I missed experiencing the story through the perspective of different characters, like Djana, Tristan, and Kex. Blaidd continues to be both a strong character and a catalyst for change, and while I know he’s a betrayer at heart, I couldn’t help feeling bad for him.
The end of this book is tense, action-packed and exciting as the forces of Anfawl, Galon, and the Six crash together in an inevitable conflict. The author delivers more twists and surprises that don’t disappoint and plants the seeds for book three. This series is shaping up to be an engaging high fantasy adventure that’s perfect for teen readers while being enjoyable for adults as well. I’d recommend this series for fantasy readers of any age.
Pages: 205 | ASIN: B00N42SCDS
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The Six and the Crystals if Ialana is a coming-of-age fantasy story rich with details, a large cast of characters, and a world rife with magic. What was the inspiration for the world of Ialana and the rich history you’ve built into it?
My inspiration for Ialana arose from the myths and legends of the lost continent of Atlantis. In my Ialana Series, the City of Rhiannon is loosely based upon these legends, while the continent itself is drawn entirely from my imagination. In the first book, I also drew the mysterious island of Mu’A partially out of these so-called myths, but the bulk of the inspiration for that island actually came from a dream I once had. In this dream, I was an inhabitant of this island, and all the shielding technology—so-called “magic”— once existed. This dream was very real, so that is what I used as my basis for the shielding technology in my series. The history of Ialana is loosely based upon our own world’s lost history. I firmly believe that we are not the first civilization to inhabit this planet, and we won’t be the last. It is my opinion, and one that is shared by many, that technology is not new here, and that our current level of knowledge still has a ways to go. My series highlights the vast gap that now exists between science and spirituality, or what we think of as magic. I want to show how they can come together, to not be disparate from each other.
In this story six kids realize they have more in common than they might suspect. What character did you enjoy writing for and why?
I identified with Jarah, my main protagonist, the most. He feels different from not only the people of his village, but also from his family and his peers. While this may be a common teenage issue, his angst goes beyond the normal insecurities. When his dreams begin, his worst fears are confirmed: he is different to those around him. Each one of the six characters feel this gap between them and the people around them, but they each deal with it in different ways. They all know that their dreams are out of the ordinary, and that this sets them apart from their peers in a way that they must grapple with and try to understand.
The kids are rescued by a mysterious shape-shifter named Irusan. This enigmatic creature becomes their first teacher. Why did you feel he was the best character to teach the kids about their past?
Irusan is the “Gandalph” of the series. He is the archetype of the wise old man, the Mentor. Someone must help these kids to understand what is happening to them, and why, and Irusan is just strange enough that the kids will know without a shred of doubt that there is much more to reality than they’ve been taught. When they see with their own eyes what he is capable of, they must believe, and that helps them open up to the magic that is around them; and initially, with the help of crystals, the magic that they can tap into. I also hope that the reader will understand that we are only limited by our beliefs, and that if we knew what we were really capable of, we’d be amazed.
This book is the first in a series. Can you tell us more about what we can expect as the story continues into books two and three?
The Six and the Crystals of Ialana is the foundational book of the series. It sets the stage for all that is to follow, and I recommend that readers read them in the order they were written. It will help them to better understand the characters and the events that follow. In the second book, The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana, the Six continue on their healing mission, but they are thwarted by another despotic man, and hunted by a new enemy: yet another shape-shifter, but one that is the polar opposite to their mentor, Irusan. This one is capable of great magic and she and Irusan have a history that is hinted at in the rest of the series. The Six find themselves on the run again, and they must now find another hidden kingdom where they will be taught elemental command. They encounter many more challenges, as does their friend Blaidd, whose life has now taken an unexpected and tragic turn. In the third of the series, The Six and Anwyn of Ialana, the focus is still on the Six friends, but now there is an addition: a daughter. This girl, Anwyn, was born and raised in the elemental kingdom, and her skills surpass those of her parents and the Six. As they and Anwyn are now adepts in their chosen roles of healers, the opposition to them from the forces of evil increase. They find themselves facing enemies whose skills and abilities are equal to or even greater than theirs, and they must not only protect themselves, but at the same time save the planet from destruction.
Mutant creatures, a Reptilian Dragon King, and a mysterious shape shifter… For fans of epic fantasy, the first book in the Ialana Series delivers a thrilling and fast-paced adventure saga. The quest, 500 years in the making to find and restore the lost crystals of Ialana, unites six young people who, along with a seventh between the ages of 15-21, were all born with a secret buried deep within. Guided by a shared dream, they leave the only homes they have ever known and set out on a life-altering quest through a maze of mountain caves and tunnels where they encounter insidious creatures, but none so dangerous, perhaps, as one of their very own. Mentored by Irusan the transcendental shape-shifter, the six young heroes develop impenetrable relationships and ultimately learn to rely upon one another. They battle their way to the lost crystal, but will they find it in time? Or, will their enemy succeed in his mission to control the powerful crystals of Ialana?
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The Six and the Crystals if Ialana is the first book of the Ialana series. The author, Katlynn Brooke, brings this coming-of-age fantasy to life with rich details, a large cast of characters, and a world rife with magic.
Jarah is the son of a baker but isn’t happy in the village. Night after night, he dreams of an island nestled in the sea. When the King’s army comes through demanding young men for conscription Jarah, Aiden, and the local bully Blaidd are caught up by the press gang. Jarah and Aiden discover that they are having identical dreams, but Blaidd is not. Tristan, an older soldier, overhears them and contrives to help them all escape. In the mountains, Kex fights with her family over marriage, so she packs her things and leaves her clan. Tegan, a budding healer, flees her burning village. Djana is smuggled out of the city of Rhiannon when her parents are captured and sold into slavery. They are all driven to find the places and the people from their dreams.
One by one, they find each other in the woods and are rescued by a mysterious shape-shifter named Irusan. The enigmatic creature becomes their first teacher, revealing secrets about their past and hope for their future. They discover the first glimmers of their unique gifts, and Irusan prepares them to take up a quest they failed in another life, five hundred years in the past.
I was delighted by the world of Ialana. The landscape is richly described, and the history of the people and their legendary ancestors provides a foundation for the wonders that the Six will encounter. The origin of humans is complex, steeped in mystery and deeply connected to the crystals. The Dherog, descendants of dragons, make terrifying antagonists. Lord Amrafalus’ rule over half the continent bringing slavery, mutated creatures, and fear. The goal of the Six is to heal the damage of the Dherog, free the world from slavery and oppression, and return it to harmony.
Be prepared for a large cast of characters. The author does a fine job of showing how each of the six healers learns and grows throughout their journey, and that was my favorite aspect of the story. I was grateful for the chapter and section headings that identified the character or setting. This was helpful because the point of view changes so often that it can be confusing. Some key scenes felt rushed, summed up in just a few sentences, and I wish the author had taken more time to show the scene unfolding instead of just telling readers what happened. There’s a lot of information to remember, and a lot of it is “told” in conversations where people discuss what they already know. However, some of the best parts of the novel are when the characters discover their history for themselves. While some scenes are genuinely terrifying, there’s very little graphic violence, but a lot of nail-biting suspense that will keep the pages turning.
The Six and the Crystals of Ialana is a solid YA fantasy that calls to mind classics like the Shanarra Chronicles. The plot is refreshingly original, complete with surprising plot twists and interesting, engaging characters. It ends on a note of suspense that leads to the next book in the series.
Pages: 254 | ISBN: 0692573771
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