Posted by Literary Titan
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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