Dancing the Labyrinth by Karen Martin is a story filled with myths, legends, and goddesses. Karen has woven a tale of the past connecting flawlessly with the future by covering the bridge with a vision of the priestess. Dancing the Labyrinth is a story that makes you question your beliefs. I love tales which makes you broaden your horizons and forces you to see and experience something different, something that changes your perspective. Cressida, whose life changed when she arrived in her dream country of Greece, stumbling into a tomb where she experienced the parallels of the world, the past and the future. The experience was divine, yet gruesome.
Author Karen Martin describes the existence of a matriarchal society. Many religions claim it to be true, but Karen captures the essence of it. The transition that shifted society to a patriarchal and violent nature, the story tells this perspective through Pythia, Ashtar and Lydia. The Priestesses, the embodiment of the Mother, the Goddess. It’s a tale of time, conveyed to Cressida through her dreams. But the story doesn’t stop here. Instead, with the help of Angela, Cressida tries to understand and to decipher what happened to the civilization, the existence of the tomb. It is a harrowing story. With the suffering inflicted upon women, to the modern world. Greek mythology is famous all over the world, but the perspective on it in this book is unique and intriguing.
The story continuously switches writing styles. The book starts casually and with contemporary language and then switches to old an older writing style. Along with this we also get switches in point of views. The story is also filled with Greek myth references that will definitely appeal to readers who are familiar with the mythology.
Dancing the Labyrinth was a rewarding experience. I love a story where mythology meets science and the premise was refreshing and made for a riveting read.
Pages: 300 | ASIN: B0985T8VTH
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Vanir, Warrior by Saul Falconer is an adventurous book for lovers of Norse Mythology. This book brings characters like Freya, Heimdall, and Baldur to life as they interact with the three main characters of the book: Zeke and his siblings, Martha and Elijah. Each has unique abilities that give them special strengths against their enemies. The story takes a little while to get going, but the writing is excellent and after the first few chapters I was fully invested in this riveting story.
In the beginning, we get to see each of the children in action as they all undertake a sort of exam; Martha and Elijah taking on level four, while Zeke takes on level six. This introduction to their powers and capabilities in battle helps to set the stage for the rest of the book as they struggle to fight off the Myrkvar and the Illska, and other enemies who have the ability to travel the wormholes and attack Zeke’s people.
This book cleverly merges aspects of fantasy with science fiction, weaving different types of advanced technology throughout the worlds of Norse Myths, including everything from simulations to hoverpods to holographic devices and more. The focus of the story is on a return to “the old world” to investigate an illness that is making the people of Longyearbyen sick and of the possibility of Vanir prisoners being held captive there. One of the best aspects of the book is the relationship between Zeke, Martha, and Elijah, and how their bond helps them overcome any obstacles they face. Falconer’s writing is strongest in his characterizations and the interactions between the large cast. While I enjoyed the characters, I felt that there are a lot of them, along with races, cultures, and locations to keep track of.
Vanir, Warrior is perfectly written for pre-teen and young adult readers who have an interest in Norse Mythology. This is a spellbinding epic fantasy with imaginative technology and a sense of adventure that permeates the novel.
Pages: 394 | ASIN: B07MY3KKRX
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To Kill a King by W. L. Hawkin, is the fourth installment in A Hollystone Mystery series following an enchanting archeologist named Sorcha O’Hallorhan, who is trapped in iron age Ireland. With a spellbinding blend of magic, treachery, love, jealousy and a game of gods, Hawkin has woven a captivating tale that readers will surely fall in love with. On a journey through time, with the horned god at their aid, Sorcha is determined to save the man she loves. While breaking barriers and ignoring the rules she stubbornly does everything she is advised against and that, in my opinion, makes this book a tale so thrilling, yet so tragic!
For someone who wishes to travel the world, Hawkin transported me to Ireland. The culture she portrays is so vividly written. Hawkin writes To Kill a King with a uniquely artistic and flowing style that conveys the story from various points of view. We catch a glimpse of all our characters and what they feel. This is a character driven story that provides so much depth to its backstory and unique lore that it blends seamlessly with modern mythology; mixing Celtic legends with fey, witches, vampires and more. I love a fantasy tale that is bursting with imaginative and striking mythical creatures. Because there is so much going on I feel like it could overwhelm some readers. But if you are looking for a well defined fantasy novel written with depth and intelligence than you will be engrossed in this supernatural adventure.
I’m not familiar with Irish folklore, so I found this aspect to be exotic, and it is conveyed so eloquently that it leaves me wanting to learn more. The most magnificent thing about this book was the polyamorous nature of characters. I love reading steamy romance and Hawkin is able to capture the love the characters felt for each other beyond the physical aspects. The sweetness of Conall’s love for Ruairí, the passion Estrada feels for Micheal and his lovers, Sensara, it is truly meaningful and memorable. I never imagined a relationship, or love that could expand horizons in such a way and I am glad I read this book, because it has earned a special spot on my bookshelf.
To Kill a King has a bittersweet end, but I really look forward to the next part of the series. If you’re looking for a well defined young adult historical fantasy then you’ll find plenty to enjoy in W.L. Hawkin’s emotionally charged sword and sorcery adventure story.
Pages: 292 | ASIN: B08YP712DP
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Ariessy of Midgard follows a young woman who finds her world turned upside down by a series of events that will challenge her like never before. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I think all kids feel like they don’t belong or fit in at a certain point in their teens. It feels as though you’re not in control of anything, and I wanted to portray that in Ariessy’s life.
Ariessy is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?
I used to be a host mother to some wonderful foreign teenagers who were studying here in the UK, and each of them made up a part of Ariessy’s character. It isn’t easy to adjust to a new country, with a different language, social expectations, food, traditions etc. Ariessy finds out there’s a good reason why she feels the way she does, which in some ways comes as a relief, but it’s also tough for her to adjust to a whole new way of seeing herself and the world. I think every teenager finds it difficult to accept restrictions, even when they’re put in place for their own protection, and it takes some time for Ariessy to adjust, so her development could only go so far in book one. We see her transform completely in book two.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Self-acceptance, Belonging, Respect and responsibility for the natural world, and accepting our limits. Ariessy fights as hard as she can, she saves a life and avenges her attacker, but she needs a bit of help to get to the finish line. We all need someone to help us walk that extra mile sometimes, and that’s okay.
What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?
My next book is the follow up to this one. It’s titled Ariessy of Odinstone, and I’m hoping to publish it early next year.
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The Destroyer of Worlds is a thrilling fantasy novel that pits gods, aliens, and dragons against each other in an epic war. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I’ve had the core of this story in my heart since I was little, and I even have very old and embarrassing storyboards of the characters and plot. I really wanted to write a story that seemed huge, grand, and important. I was an English major in college (about a decade ago now) and was forced to read a lot of books that were considered “good” or even “great.” However, what I found was that I kept asking, “Why should I care?” or “Why are we even reading this?” It’s an experience common to many students. I wanted to write something different–something significant. I wanted to write something with tremendously high stakes and incredibly powerful, over-the-top characters. I was a voracious reader of mythology growing up. I also loved sci-fi and fantasy media (books, movies, TV shows, and video games). I noticed that no one could get mythology right. They had to “wussify” or soften the mythology to make it accessible to kids and people with weak stomachs. Well, mythology just isn’t like that, sorry. A lot of very messed up stuff happens in mythology and it’s not fully authentic to present it the way that most do. I wanted to do it right and be authentic to the source material. I wanted to do that with a believable and fitting twist. Around 2011 or 12, I came across a TV series called “Once Upon a Time” which featured characters from fairy-tales that most of us are at least somewhat familiar with (like Snow White & Cinderella), however it gave each character a twist. It was fun to see them all interact together. I think that really made me feel that it’d be interesting to go the route that I did by mixing and mending a variety of mythologies into one cohesive story.
I enjoyed how your characters were all varied but equally intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
MOTIVATION. Every single character is driven and motivated by something, and each one has their own goals and desires. That’s key. Some are simpler, like just surviving or finding someone to love. Others are more complex, like the desire to restore one’s civilization, have absolute power, or save as many lives as possible. As your review stated, even minor characters seem to have a want, and even they seem to have a personality of their own.
I have storyboards and diagrams in composition books with all the characters listed with their individual wants, needs, loves, hates, perks, powers, and inclinations. We even know the kinds of foods that some of them like to eat! It takes thought and care. I care about my characters. They’re like real people to me. It’s that conviction that helps to make these characters seem real and interesting to others.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Compassion (or cruelty .vs. compassion) is a theme that I really wanted to explore in my novel. People in our world can be so cruel to each other and other living things. I once received a two-star review (which the user later retracted) which stated that my story was fascinating, the pacing was great, and the characters were interesting, but the violence made them so sick that they had to stop reading. There’s a point to that. When people are impaled, mutilated, flayed, or put on hooks, it’s not a glorious thing. It’s disgusting and sad. It should be. This is how animals, for example, are treated every day in slaughterhouses and labs around the world. It’s also how people throughout history have hurt each other. It teaches some of the characters what pain & suffering really are, and they’re able to use that to grow and learn to be more compassionate, conscientious, and kind.
Another major theme in the book is power–especially the quest for absolute power and the corruptible nature of power. From the very beginning, the characters are after it, leading to rebellions and wars. Satan & the Demons launch a rebellion. Hades & the Titans launch a rebellion. Loki & his forces launch a rebellion. They do this all for power and the belief that the characters have that they can wield absolute power more effectively and “better” than the powers-that-be. We see some of the most powerful characters ever put to paper in this novel. We see what power does to them.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
This novel took 20 years to write. I poured my heart, mind, and soul into making this the best that it can be, and even now I still find ways to improve it. I want to focus on this novel for now, and eventually expand this story to focus on some of the fan-favorite characters who didn’t get as much screen time (like Athena, Loki, or Diamond).
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The Destroyer of Worlds is a riveting science fiction epic that keeps the reader on edge throughout the reading. Steven Seril has a creative mind, coupled with writing skills that are out of this world. The narration of events alone will get you hooked on the story from the beginning.
One of the most notable elements in Steven Seril’s writing is the detailed background provided for each character and scenarios before introducing the reader to the happenings. The reader will be given a short story about a particular character, which helps provide enough backstory for readers to get invested, or at least understand, each character. I found this fashion of writing to be uniquely intriguing as one gets to to become familiar with the characters before getting into the action. All characters, whether major or minor had a feature that made them distinct. Every character had a unique role and I was excited to see them in action.
The Destroyer of Worlds follows a story of warring sides, dragons, and dinosaurs. Both dragons and dinosaurs want to be in charge. It was exciting and thrilling to follow the conflict as the tension was high but the drama was subtle. One scene would have you support the dinosaurs only for the author to hit the reader with a plot twist that would have you change sides. Reading this book is a great experience especially for readers that enjoy mythological creatures and stories about cosmic life.
Some of my favorite characters in the book included Athena, Ain, Laurel, Loki, and Azure. I enjoyed these characters because of their well developed and layered personality; some were cunning, strong, wise, intentionally careless to bait others, or just funny. One other thing that stands out is how the author creates new tales while narrating old tales without confusing the reader. There are several instances where one can see the inclusion of a story within a story. This, along with the depth of the lore in this book, amazes me with its creativity and deft writing skill.
The Destroyer of Worlds is a rip-roaring science fiction adventure novel that is consistently entertaining, fun, and intriguing in surprising ways.
Pages: 578 | ASIN: B08NHGCV8B
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Queen of Dragons finds an uneasy peace shattered when Elky and Ustice are taken and the Spires are spurred into action. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that were different from book one?
Thank you, Thomas. In this book I wanted to show how even one life is missed from a community. The beginning of the story expresses, I think, the feeling of loss each individual of a community feels and the joy at the recovery of that person. This part of the story leads to the ‘why’ behind the crime which is the focus of the book.
I really enjoyed the world your building in this series. What were some sources that informed this world’s development?
I lived in California for many years, close to the mountains. Hiking trails along those mountains gave me a keen sense of a land the dragons would inhabit–the outcropping of mountains close to the ocean with the scent of sea spray that hangs in the air is much like The Spires of Dasny.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I don’t prethink themes, they occur naturally through the writing process. The sense of loss was one theme, a joyful return another, redemption yet another. Mainly in this book I wanted to show the growth of the characters and the challenges each of them face with that growth. It’s not necessarily a ‘coming of age’ book, but it does touch on some of those emotions and the growth each character experiences.
This is book two in The Spires of Dasny series. What can readers expect in book three?
In book three of The Spires of Dasny, the readers will be propelled into a much larger world. They begin to learn of other kingdoms and how they can benefit them or destroy them. Along with this discovery is an ancient lore that plays out with the main characters of Seyra, Grifton and Elky. What is the meaning behind it and will it help them or come at a cost? It is my hope to expand this series by focusing on these different kingdoms and the impact each plays with The Spires of Dasny.
I am aiming for the release of book three, The Kingdom of the Spires, by fall 2021, and with any luck, much sooner!
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The Spires and the surrounding regions bask in the peace that has lasted five years since the bloody battle of Garneth. But a new conflict looms as strange people abduct Elky and Ustice, her dragon. The king of the Dragons and Spires, Dreyth and Seyra, his fated human rider, must now team up with other Spires warriors to rescue Elky and her beast. Their quest spirals into a new adventure that sees the Spires faced with a full-blown war against sorcerers wielding hypnotic magic and a strange breed of dragons. Amidst all this, the people and Dragons of the Spires also try to come to terms with the Dragon king’s decision to choose Seyra, a human, as his queen. Faced with internal and external conflicts, the fate of the Spires hangs in a delicate balance.
Queen of Dragons is the second book in Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait’s epic fantasy series, Spires of Dasny. A riveting fairy tale fantasy with a story featuring dragons, magic, and enchanting folktales. All of these elements are effortlessly woven together to create a rich and thrilling story.
The authors fantastic use of descriptive writing pulls you into a unique fantasy world that is filled with emotionally-charged moments that surprise at every turn.
At this point I fell like C.R.C is an expert at creating compelling and grounded characters that are easy to empathize with, if not relate to. Initially, I felt some distance, but I soon connected with Seyra and her dragon’s relationship. As the story unfolded and both revealed their hearts, their relationship became more meaningful and reflected something more familiar.
C.R.C holds keeps the tension high right up until the end. Even after what you’d call the final battle, the author introduces a gripping twist that threatens to ruin the happy ending, but keeps you completely engrossed in the story and desperate for another book.
As a bonus, you get to enjoy a teaser of the next part of the series. A great way to get a glimpse of what to expect in the next book. And from the little I’ve seen, it will be just as entertaining.
Pages: 194 | ASIN: B08SL8RHBW
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