A Guardian Falls by Rebecca Tran is a fantasy novel and the second book in the Chronicles of the Coranydas series. In the first novel, we are introduced to our main character Mara, who is seeking revenge after watching her father’s murder. She gives up her privileged lifestyles in order to seek justice. The second starts soon after the events of the first novel, with Mara’s betrothed recovering from his injuries after she has rescued him from her father’s killer, and her self-doubt in her abilities to finish what she has started.
The novel starts well, with a good re-introduction of characters and an update in the current situation. Tran’s writing is easy to follow, and you’re given a sense of the characters as soon as you meet them. Mara is also a likeable main character, and one of the reasons for this is that she is not a perfect or even confident lead. She doubts herself and her destiny throughout the novel, but all this makes for a more realistic and endearing character. It is much easier to empathize with a character who is self-critical and questions themselves, and this makes for an enjoyable read. Mara’s relationships also makes her more likeable. Her relationship with Kess is sweet and you find yourself invested in it – the novel starts with them having been in an argument, but their quick reconciliation is a subtle way to show you the strength of their relationship.
One thing the author does well is her ability to write both long scenes of in-depth dialogue between two characters and epic battle sequences. Both of these will hold your attention, and flow easily. The dialogue is good, and anything the characters say is believable and feels like a true conversation. Similarly, any action is written well, and is not too over the top.
The only problem I found with this novel is the amount of characters there are. It can sometimes be hard to follow so many characters in one book, and occasionally things can become muddled and you start to feel you’re in information overload. However, this does not affect the enjoyability of the novel to a high degree, but it is something you need to concentrate more on as you read.
Overall, this is a well balance book, with a good degree of both action and dialogue that is paced well. You will enjoy both the action sequences and the calmer, more character driven moments. The characters are strong, and our main character is likeable and relatable. The plot is interesting pushed along by some thrilling twists. If you are looking for a good fantasy read then you can’t go wrong with this one.
Pages: 394 | ASIN: B072LJV5Z5
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For Their Sins is based on the life of Alexandria a woman born in 1707, as the descendant of angels. Bearing the responsibility of her house, she will fight for both family and honor. What was the initial idea behind this story and how did that transform as you were writing the novel?
Most of my book ideas come from a random thought. Usually I will hear or see something and think it would make an interesting book. This idea was actually came to me when I was watching The Chronicles or Riddick. There was a random line where the Necromancers referred to humans as breeders. I thought it would make an intriguing story line for two types of vampires to be at war. Those that had children and those that did not. I think the idea changed the longer I followed Alexandria through her life. I wanted to make her more than a vampire. Alexandria needed a purpose and a reason to hate the Mordere. The biggest changes came at the final editing. The original story line seemed too dark even to me who understood the whole concept. It was changed and the angel theme was added much earlier than before. It balanced out the story and made Alex someone you wanted to root for.
Alexandria is a determined young woman. How did you capture the thoughts and emotions of a warrior princess type character?
It’s interesting to hear Alexandria described that way, it wasn’t how I intended her. I always imagined her as a hunter and the reluctant heroine. For me its never hard to write strong women. I usually think how my mother would react to certain situations; she’s certainly the strongest woman I know. In Alexandria’s case some of my own experience was thrown into the mix. For a long time I never wanted children either.
There were lots of great twists in the story that kept me flipping pages. When you first sat down to write this story, did you know where you were going, or did the twists come as you were writing?
When I start writing I usually have a general idea of major plot points in the book. How I get there is another thing entirely. This book was no exception. I worked on this manuscript on and off for six years trying to fit the pieces together. Alexandria’s first love affair was a total surprise to me and initially one of the characters wasn’t slated to be killed off. Some how it fit and I kept it. Originally the book had a much longer ending that always felt wrong to me. That was rewritten before publishing.
What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?
Currently I am working on Book 3 in the Chronicles of the Coranydas series. I am hoping to have it ready for publication around February 2018.
Alexandria Diego never wanted to be special. She was content to lay in bed with her lover forever. One decision will change everything. Suddenly, Alexandria is launched into a life of infamy, which carries a heavy burden that only she can bear. When a vicious war between her people, the Venandi, and their rivals, the Mordere, breaks out it forces Alexandria to change her tactics and be more cautious. But, when her love is captured by the enemy, Alexandria risks everything to get him back.
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The Rashade tells the tale of Mara, a strong willed woman whose life mission revolves around avenging the death of her father. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
My dad died due to medical mal-practice when I was 16. I was depressed and unwilling to talk about it. So I began to write. The initial thought was simple what if my character could get revenge. Then I began asking questions. Who was she? Who killed her father? Why? The more questions I asked and answered the more the story developed.
Not everybody in the story is who they seem and I enjoyed the progression of each character. What was your favorite character to write for?
My favorite character to write in this set of books is Mara. I created Mara to do everything couldn’t, she’s my extreme alter ego. I loved putting her in impossible situations and getting her back out again. Then there is her complicated personality. I think any time the character is a complex combination it is always more interesting and more fun to write.
The Rashade is a set in medieval fantasy type world that is very detailed. What were some sources that served as inspiration for the world you created?
Some of my favorite movies growing up were The Conan movies and Red Sonja. It wasn’t a surprise that when Xena came out I watched the series every week for years. Then in high school a friend introduced me to Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. A short while later I found Dave Duncan’s Seventh Sword series in a used book store. The Rashade‘ seems to be a conglomeration of all those things.
The Rashade is the first book in the Chronicles of the Coranydas series and delivers an adventure filled with magical characters and valiant warriors. Where will book two in the series take the story?
There will be a few new characters and you’ll meet other magical races. Mara has a few roadblocks left in her path, one them being her mother. But I couldn’t let Laran get away with murder. There is going to be a war of blades and magic. Only the strongest will survive.
After her father was murdered before her eyes, Mara Coranyda traded a life of privilege, for one devoted to vengeance. Shortly into her quest to find the mage that murdered him, Mara discovered it wouldn’t be an easy task to accomplish. Not only would she have to find the magical artifacts to destroy him, but she would also have to raise an army to stop his conquest of her homelands.
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